Sixth Inning Dooms 'Tees Again as Cards Complete Sweep
JUPITER, Fla. - For the second straight game, the Palm Beach Cardinals exploded offensively in the sixth inning as the Brevard County Manatees fell 4-2 on Friday night at Roger Dean Stadium and were subsequently swept in the four-game set.
Already up 1-0 entering the inning, Luke Voit stepped up to the plate against Manatees' starter Tyler Wagner (3-3, 2.05 ERA) with one out. Voit, who delivered the walk-off base hit against Brevard on Tuesday, slammed the first pitch he saw from Wagner to deep left-center field. Voit's solo shot cleared the wall just to the left of the videoboard, to extend the Cardinals' (22-26) lead to 2-0.
After striking out Starlin Rodriguez for the second out, Wagner issued a walk to Bruce Caldwell to continue the bottom of the sixth. Casey Rasmus stepped up to the dish and on the very first pitch, cranked a line drive down the right field line. Caldwell hustled around third to score as Rasmus' triple pushed Palm Beach's advantage to three.
The RBI base knock by the Rasmus brought home the third earned run against Wagner, making it the first time any team had done that against the right-hander this year. Wagner, who has not won a start since April 14, allowed those three runs on five hits, walked three and struck out five.
Brevard rallied in the top of the seventh, but could not tie it up. Back-to-back singles by Tyrone Taylor and Cameron Garfield, neither of which left the infield, put two runners on for Nicky Delmonico. The third baseman sliced a ball into left field to load the bases for Alfredo Rodriguez.
The catcher, Rasmus, was unable to corral the first pitch from Cardinals' starter Silfredo Garcia and the ball trickled towards the backstop. Taylor broke from third to score the Manatees' (23-23) first run and made it a 3-1 game.
The next three pitches to Rodriguez were also outside the zone to load the bases, yet again. That spelled the end for Garcia as reliever Sam Tuivailala was called upon to get the Cards out of the jam.
The first batter Tuivailala faced - Yadiel Rivera - skied one to center field, but it was tracked down by Charlie Tilson, who made a shoestring grab for the first out. Garfield tagged and scored easily from third, but the same did not hold true for Delmonico. He was gunned down for the second out, while trying to advance to third on the play, thus ending the rally.
Those were the only runs Brevard County would push across as Garcia picked up the win in his second Florida State League start. The right-hander carried a one-hitter into the sixth and finished the night by allowing two runs on five hits, one walk and fanning five.
Palm Beach tacked on an insurance run off Brevard County reliever Mike Strong in the seventh inning. After retiring the first two batters of the frame with ease, Nick Martini slapped a double to left-center to get a runner in scoring position. Breyvic Valera, a .342 hitter, followed that with a single lined into right to score Martini.
Chris Thomas, who had picked up six saves with Class-A Peoria before being called up, recorded his first save with Palm Beach by retiring Brevard County in order in the top of the ninth.
Orlando Arcia was one of the bright spots for the Manatees offensively. The shortstop finished up the series with another multi-hit performance, including a double in the first inning. Arcia recorded a hit in all four games against Palm Beach, as he went 7-for-16 in the series.
For the second straight game, Brevard County was missing a couple of key players in their lineup. Victor Roache and Garrett Cooper were not in the lineup, as both players have been under the weather with flu-like symptoms.
The Manatees will look to end their four-game skid on Saturday night as they return home to host a doubleheader against the Tampa Yankees (25-22) at Space Coast Stadium. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 5:05 p.m., with the second game starting 30 minutes after the first game's completion.
Damien Magnifico (3-3, 2.37), who threw a complete game, two-hit shutout against Jupiter in his last start on Monday, gets the start for Brevard in game one. Lefty Dan Camarena (3-3, 2.47) will get the start in the first matchup for Tampa.
Right-hander Austin Ross (2-0, 3.38) is slated to go for the Manatees in the second game. Tampa has yet to name a starter for game two.
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Florida State League Stories from May 23, 2014
- Offense Powers Yankees over Hammerheads, 9-6 - Tampa Yankees
- Voit Goes Deep, Cardinals Sweep Manatees - Palm Beach Cardinals
- Sixth Inning Dooms 'Tees Again as Cards Complete Sweep - Brevard County Manatees
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- Mets Beat Threshers 6-4 for Fourth Straight Win - St. Lucie Mets
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