Lopez Strikes out Eight in 2-1 Loss to Clearwater
VIERA, Fla. - Jorge Lopez turned in another stellar outing with a season-high-tying eight strikeouts, but the Brevard County Manatees lost to the Clearwater Threshers on Monday night at Space Coast Stadium, 2-1.
Lopez (8-8, 3.94 ERA) only allowed a pair of runs, but both scored early. Anthony Phillips put the first run on the scoreboard in the first inning. The second batter of the game drove his second home run of the year, a solo shot over the left field wall to give Clearwater (22-29 second half, 39-80) a 1-0 lead.
One inning later, the Threshers supplemented their lead with a big hit by Brandon Short. Harold Martinez started the rally with a one-out single and Short drove him home with a line drive double down the left field line to put Clearwater ahead, 2-0.
Lopez settled down and did not give up a run the rest of the night, but took the loss for the fifth time in six starts. The right-hander went seven innings and surrendered both of Clearwater's runs on eight hits. Lopez went the whole start without walking a batter for the fifth time this season.
Brevard County (23-24, 59-55) struggled to score against Clearwater starter Jesse Biddle. The 'Tees manufactured one run against the left-hander in the third inning. Orlando Arcia and Michael Reed both walked to put runners on first and second with one out. The pair pulled off a successful double steal to move into scoring position and Cameron Garfield drove Arcia home with an RBI ground out to second base.
Biddle picked up his second victory in as many Florida State League starts with one run allowed over five innings and tallied four strikeouts. The Clearwater southpaw only allowed three hits, but walked five men in the winning effort.
Brevard threatened to tie the score twice in the latter innings of the ballgame. In the eighth, the 'Tees put a pair of men on with two walks against lefty reliever Cody Forsythe. The chance ended, however, when right-hander Ulises Joaquin came out of the bullpen and induced an inning-ending groundout.
The following inning, Victor Roache ripped a leadoff single through the left side of the infield. Mike Garza dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Roache up to second and the 'Tees had the potential tying run in scoring position.
Clearwater caught a break, though, as a line drive turned into a game-ending double play. Garrett Cooper hit a liner at second baseman Anthony Phillips, but Roache had ranged too far off of second base. After Phillips made the catch, he tossed the ball to J.P. Crawford who stepped on the bag to end the ballgame. Joaquin earned his fifth save by recording the final four outs of the ballgame.
Brevard County took two out of three games from the Threshers and will hit the road for a doubleheader at the Daytona Cubs on Tuesday night. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Taylor Williams (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start as a Manatee in game one against Daytona right-hander Tayler Scott (7-8, 4.38 ERA).
For more information on the Brevard County Manatees, call (321) 633-9200 or go online to ManateesBaseball.com. Also, don't forget to like the Manatees on Facebook and follow the Manatees both on Twitter and Instagram.
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Florida State League Stories from August 11, 2014
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