'Tees snap three-game skid with 4-2 win over Bradenton
BRADENTON, Fla. - Victor Roache drove in two and Stephen Peterson tossed four innings of perfect relief to lead the Brevard County Manatees over the Bradenton Marauders, 4-2 on Saturday night at McKechnie Field.
After the Marauders (25-16 second half, 60-50 overall) grabbed a 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Roache put the Manatees (20-18, 56-48) on the comeback trail in the next half-inning.
With one out in the top of the second, the former first-round pick unloaded on a ball to deep right-center field. Center fielder Raul Fortunato and right fielder Walker Gourley chased it into the gap and both made a leaping attempt to try and snare the ball.
However, neither came down with it. Roache's solo clout was his team-leading 13th of the year and it knotted the game up at one.
With the game still tied at one, Roache played a key part in the 'Tees rally in the fourth. Michael Reed sparked the onslaught with single to right and Cameron Garfield followed him up with a double to the opposite field, as well.
On a 1-2 pitch to Roache, Bradenton starter Jason Creasy (6-7, 3.72 ERA) spiked one in the dirt. The ball caromed off the equipment of catcher Jason Stallings and flew over his head to the backstop. Reed raced home from third and Garfield advanced behind him to third to give Brevard its first lead, 2-1.
The Georgia Southern product made the situation worse for Bradenton later in the at-bat. Two pitches later, Roache laced a line drive into right field. Garfield scored from third and the Manatees had a two-run advantage, 3-1.
In the sixth, Roache almost clobbered his second blast of the game. However, with the wind whipping out towards right, the ball died in the left-center field warning track for a fly out.
Bradenton would scratch across another run in the bottom of the fourth on a bases loaded, passed ball, but that was the last time they would score this evening.
Manatees' ace Tyler Wagner (11-4, 1.54) did not have his best stuff, but kept Brevard in the ball game. The former Utah Ute allowed just two runs - one earned - over five innings, as he tallied his 11th win of the season, which ties him with Bradenton's Chad Kuhl for the Florida State League-lead.
With 91 pitches through five, a high pitch count kept Wagner from going deeper into the night. He ended his evening with two walks and four strikeouts and still leads the FSL in ERA with a 1.54 mark.
Even with the short outing, Wagner's numbers over his last eight are still remarkable. In those outings, he is now 7-0 with a 0.52 ERA.
Peterson came out of the bullpen and put a stop to any possible Marauder comeback. The left-handed reliever twirled his best outing of the season, as he threw four perfect innings to record his third save of the year.
The Massachusetts native was efficient, too. It took Peterson just 42 pitches to retire all 12 men he faced.
Brevard gave Peterson some extra cushion in the seventh. Following a lead-off double by Garrett Cooper, Nathan Orf sliced an RBI triple into the right-center field gap to increase the Manatees' lead to 4-2.
Tyrone Taylor had another spectacular evening at the plate in the victory. The number two prospect in the Brewers organization, according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, pieced together a three-hit night, which included his league-leading 35th double of the year.
Joe Ayrault will turn to left-hander Hobbs Johnson (10-7, 3.15) tomorrow evening at McKechnie Field with first pitch scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Johnson will look to tie Wagner and Kuhl for the league-lead in wins at 11. Shane Carle (1-2, 5.40) will make his fifth start for the Marauders.
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