Manatees Blank Cubs, 7-0
VIERA, Fla. - Jed Bradley's last few starts have been stellar, but his performance on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium may have been his best of the season, as he pitched 6.2 innings of two-hit baseball to lift the Brevard County Manatees to a 7-0 win over the Daytona Cubs.
The Manatees' southpaw looked good from the start. He retired the first two batters of the game on groundouts and would have recorded a perfect first inning if not for an error. Unfazed by the fielding miscue, Bradley (4-1, 2.77 ERA) picked Albert Almora off of first to end the inning.
Things only got better for Bradley as he worked one-two-three frames in the second, fourth and sixth innings. Only three men reached scoring position against the left-hander all night.
Bradley only got into serious trouble at the end of his outing. He retired the first two men he faced in the seventh, but then walked Dan Vogelbach.
Jeimer Candelario was up next and he hit a tapper down the third base line. Bradley fielded the ball cleanly, but threw low to first and the ball skipped past first baseman Mike Garza for an error on Bradley. That errant throw put an end to Bradley's night, but Greg Holle struck out Tim Saunders to end the inning.
Bradley picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season, as he struck out seven and walked a pair in a two-hit, scoreless performance.
Bradley had been hurting for run support in his previous starts, but that was not the case on Thursday. Brevard (18-15) broke out for four runs in the fourth inning.
Nathan Orf was hit by a pitch for a league-leading eighth time to start the rally. He then proceeded to steal second and advanced to third base when Saunders could not catch the throw from catcher Chadd Krist.
Then, Orlando Arcia almost gave Brevard County the lead as he scorched a line drive, but it was right at Candelario. However with one out, Tyrone Taylor did what he has done all season. He drilled his 17th double of the year down the left field line to score Orf with the game's first run.
Michael Reed kept the rally going with a walk and Cameron Garfield hit his second double in as many days to score Taylor and put the 'Tees up, 2-0. Brevard scored two more in the inning on an RBI groundout by Victor Roache and a single by Brandon Macias.
The home side kept the offense coming in the seventh. Brevard County loaded the bases on singles by Macias, Yadiel Rivera and Garza. Orf grounded into a double play, but that still brought Macias home. Arcia followed the double play with an RBI single to give Brevard County a 6-0 advantage.
Taylor narrowly missed adding to Brevard's lead later in the inning, but he did add to his doubles total. He ripped a ground ball to third that took a bad hop past Candelario and went into left field. Arcia tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate on a relay throw that went from Saunders to Candelario to Krist.
Though Taylor did not gain a RBI, he was rewarded with his 18th double of the season, which is still tops in all of Minor League Baseball.
After Taylor's double, Roache expanded the Manatees' edge. In the eighth inning, Roache went deep over the right field wall to give Brevard County its final insurance run.
Holle and Stephen Peterson finished the ballgame for Brevard. Holle pitched a perfect eighth inning after finishing the seventh. Peterson walked one in the ninth, but would shut the door on the Cubs (10-21) to nail down the Manatees win.
With the win, Brevard County has tied the I-95 Rivalry at five games apiece, at the halfway point of the 20-game season series. The Manatees and Cubs face off again on Friday night at 6:35 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium.
Jorge Lopez (3-2, 5.14) will take the hill for the Manatees against Daytona's Felix Pena (1-3, 1.29).
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Florida State League Stories from May 8, 2014
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