Macias, Roache go deep to lead Ã¢ÂÂTees over Cards, 7-4
VIERA, Fla. - Thanks to a pair of home runs from Brandon Macias and Victor Roache, the Brevard County Manatees ended their five-game losing streak with a 7-4 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium.
After Palm Beach (22-11 second half, 58-44 overall) grabbed a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly from Ildemaro Vargas, Brevard County's (16-13, 52-43) bats exploded in the third inning, as the 'Tees grabbed a lead they would never relinquish.
Macias started the frame with a single to left, but then the Manatees picked up base-hits in wacky ways. On a 2-2 pitch, Nathan Orf hit a chopper to the left-side of the infield. The third baseman Vargas ranged to his left and the shortstop Greg Miclat raced in, but neither communicated who was going to take charge. The ball snuck between them and Orf was safe at first with an infield single.
The next batter, Orlando Arcia, continued the bizarre half-inning, as he swung at the first pitch. The ball rolled on to the dirt in front of home plate, but Palm Beach catcher Gerwuins Velazco thought the ball was popped in the air. By the time Cardinals pitcher Tyrell Jenkins (4-2, 3.50 ERA) fielded the ball there was no play to be made. Arcia was on with the second straight infield single to load the bases.
Tyrone Taylor would drove home Macias with a sacrifice fly to left to tie the score at one. Michael Reed and Cameron Garfield followed with a pair of singles to drive home Orf and Arcia to give the Manatees the lead, 3-1.
With Garfield's base-hit, the Manatees had nine straight batters produce a productive at-bat. Brevard County recorded eight singles and a sacrifice fly, consecutively. The Manatees tallied three straight singles in the second, but Roache was thrown out trying to score from second base to end the inning.
Mason Katz ripped an RBI triple to right-center to cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth, but in the bottom of the frame the 'Tees began to crank the long ball.
Mike Garza started the inning with a single to center and with one out Macias dug in against Jenkins. On a 0-1 pitch, Macias unloaded on a ball and drove out to deep left-center field. It looked like a casual fly ball, but the wind carried the ball well over the 404-foot sign. The two-run home run was Macias' first of the year and it pushed the Manatees' lead to 5-2.
In the fifth, it was Roache's turn. After the first two batters of the inning grounded out to third, Roache crushed a ball to deep left-center, as well. The wind helped carry the ball some, but Roache's power did most of the work. The ball landed out by the flagpoles for a solo shot, Roache's team-leading 12th home run of the year, to push the Manatees' lead to 6-2.
However, the Cardinals would rally back. In the top of the eighth, after reliever Chad Pierce struck out the first two batters of the inning looking, Palm Beach began its strike.
Anthony Garcia walked on four pitches and then Mason Katz delivered again. The former LSU Tiger, who finished the night a home run shy of the cycle, flipped a double down the left field line. Garcia scored easily from first to trim the lead to 6-3.
The following hitter, Miclat, kept the attack going. On a payoff pitch, he roped a single in front of Reed in right field. Katz scored from second and the Cardinals were within two, 6-4.
After Brevard pushed across an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly from Nathan Orf, the Cardinals made the Manatee faithful sweat again.
Mike Strong came out of the bullpen to close out the ballgame and retired the first two batters on groundouts. Bruce Caldwell then slapped a single to left and Luke Voit followed with a line drive single to center. With the tying run at the plate, David Popkins hit a slow roller to short. Arcia was able to field and throw on to first to get the out and end the game.
Despite an abbreviated start, Damien Magnifico (7-5, 3.67) tallied his seventh win of the season. The Florida State League All-Star allowed two runs - one earned - on six hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out four on 84 pitches.
Jenkins took his second loss of the season for Palm Beach. The former first round pick battled through his worst start of the year. In five innings, Jenkins allowed a season-high six runs and 12 hits. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.
The Manatees bats thrived again tonight, as the team tallied 15 base-hits. Four players - Arcia, Roache, Garza and Macias - had multi-hit performances.
Macias tied a season-high with three hits and fell a triple short of the cycle. Including tonight, the former Kansas Jayhawk has now driven in seven runs in his last six contests.
Brevard County will look to continue their winning ways tomorrow, as first pitch against Palm Beach is slated for 6:35 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium. Jorge Lopez (8-5, 3.54) will get the start for the Manatees against fellow righty Joe Cuda (6-7, 5.94).
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