'Tees Come up Short in 3-2 Loss to Cards
JUPITER, Fla. - Despite three hits from Victor Roache - including two doubles and a home run - and another three hits from Orlando Arcia, the Brevard County Manatees dropped their second straight game, as they fell 4-3 to the Palm Beach Cardinals on Wednesday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Cardinals (20-26) grabbed their only lead of the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning against Major League rehabber Tom Gorzelanny. After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Starlin Rodriguez came up to the plate and went ahead in the count, 2-0.
The next pitch to Rodriguez was rocketed down the left field line, chasing Roache into the corner. The ball would continue to carry and ricochet off the foul pole for Rodriguez's second home run of the game. That gave Palm Beach a 4-3 lead that they would never relinquish.
The blow came after Brevard County (23-21) missed a major opportunity in the top of half of the inning. Arcia started the frame with a single and Tyrone Taylor followed by drawing a walk.
Cameron Garfield then came to the plate and hit a ground ball to the third baseman Bruce Caldwell, who was playing close to the line. Caldwell stepped on the bag, then spun and fired to Breyvic Valera at second, who then relayed the throw to Luke Voit at first for a triple play. The around-the-horn triple killing got Palm Beach starter Joe Cuda (1-5, 8.07) out of the frame and kept the ball game tied.
Brevard missed another key opportunity to the tie or take the lead in the eighth. Yadiel Rivera led off with a single to left and then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nathan Orf. Arcia followed with a single to left of his own, but Rivera held at third with the left fielder Rodriguez charging on the play.
Arcia proceeded to steal second, but both he and Rivera would not advance any further. Cardinals' reliever Aidan Lucas struck out Taylor and then got Garfield to ground out to short to strand the runners.
The missed chances came after the Manatees had grabbed the lead twice in the early portion of the game. Brevard jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a solo shot by Roache, his team-leading seventh home run of the year, but Palm Beach responded with Rodriguez's first homer of the game to tie it up.
The 'Tees took the lead again in the fourth with the help of Roache and a defensive mistake. Arcia reached on a bunt single and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor. Garfield followed with a walk, bringing Nicky Delmonico to the plate.
Delmonico would lift a fly ball deep into the corner in right, but it was run down by Nick Martini. Arcia broke for third as Martini's throw came in, however no one was there to cut it off. The ball rolled into foul territory down the third base line as Arcia turned third and headed for home to give Brevard the lead again, 2-1. Roache kept the rally going with an RBI double to right-center to push the lead to 3-1.
Palm Beach responded again in the fifth as they tied the game with nobody out. Martini singled to right and Caldwell walked to start the inning. Both advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by Manatees starter Jorge Lopez (5-2, 3.72).
On a 2-0 pitch, David Washington lined a single to left to score both runners and tie the game at three apiece. Washington advanced to third on a ground out, but would not score as Lopez finished his outing with a flourish. The Puerto Rico native struck out both Charlie Tilson and Ildemaro Vargas swinging on nasty sliders tailing towards their back foot to end the inning and keep the game tied.
That marked the end of the night for Lopez who did not factor in the decision, thus ending his streak of four consecutive victories. The righty allowed three runs on five hits, walked one and struck out three over five innings.
His counterpart, Cuda, pieced together his best start of the year to get his first win of 2014. The St. Petersburg, Fla. native went a season-high seven innings and issued three runs on five hits, walked two and struck out three.
Gorzelanny, who gave up the go-ahead homer to Rodriguez, took the loss in his final scheduled rehab appearance with Brevard County. The dinger was the only blemish for Gorzelanny as he retired the other six batters he faced, including striking out the last four hitters in a row.
The Manatees will try to get back in the win column when they battle Palm Beach again at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday at Roger Dean Stadium. Southpaw Hobbs Johnson (4-4, 2.45), who is looking for his third straight win, will get the start for Brevard County. Fellow left-hander Kyle Helisek (1-2, 3.11) will get the call for the Cardinals.
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Florida State League Stories from May 21, 2014
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