Friday Final: Rome Braves 3; Savannah Sand Gnats 2
After dropping Thursday’s series opener in Savannah, the second place Rome Braves gained a series split Friday with a 3-2 victory, and closed to within one game again of the first place Gnats. The home team mustered little in support of Rainy Lara‘s impressive start. With the Gnats leading 2-1, a fielding error in the fifth inning by shortstop Phillip Evans wound up weighing heavily in the final outcome, as the miscue cleared the way for Rome’s game tying run. Rainy Lara and Braves’ Mauricio Cabrera faced off until Cabrera departed during the sixth, while Lara allowed five hits and one earned run through seven full innings pitched. He walked no batter and struck out eight before exiting the game with a no-decision, but not before lowering his ERA to a 1.42 mark. Beck Wheeler took the ball in relief of Lara to start the eighth inning. After securing the first two outs, Rome’s Jose Peraza singled passed third, then promptly stole second base. Up at bat, Levi Hyams followed with a base hit to right, scoring Peraza to break the deadlock. Beck Wheeler was credited with his first loss of the season. Jayce Boyd and Kevin Plawecki drove in Savannah’s two runs with respective doubles. Both are tied with twenty-nine RBI, which ties them for second in the SAL. Despite Savannah’s game two loss, the 20-12 Sand Gnats own the South Atlantic League’s best record by one game in the win column, over the Northern Division leading Hagerstown Suns.
Friday Final: Palm Beach Cardinals 7; Port St. Lucie Mets 3
After dropping game one Thursday, the visiting Palm Beach Cardinals bounced back last night for a 7-3 victory, and a series split in game two. They pounded Mets starter Angel Cuan and St. Lucie’s bullpen for thirteen hits and a pair of home runs by third baseman Stephen Piscotty. Angel Cuan surrendered one of them, allowing three runs overall, but only two earned. The Mets took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth on Dustin Lawley‘s two run home run. In the top of the seventh however, Angel Cuan surrendered a lead-off double. After a pitching change, Estarlin Morel blew a save situation, allowing Palm Beach the tying run on Ronny Gil‘s RBI double. The wheels fell off in the eighth, as Palm Beach scored three unanswered runs off Randy Fontanez. Stephen Piscotty punctuated the night with his second home run off Wanel Vasquez in the ninth. Randy Fontanez absorbed the loss for St. Lucie. Mets designated hitter Dustin Lawley was 3 for 4, with a triple. He and Stephen Piscotty are now both tied for second in the Florida State League with seven home runs each. With Friday’s loss, the 22-12 PSL Mets dropped five games behind the Southern Division first place Fort Myers Miracle. Hot prospect Hansel Robles is scheduled to make today’s start in game three.
Friday Final: Harrisburg Senators 4; Binghamton Mets 8
The Mets recovered after being no-hit to play a rain abbreviated 6 1/2 inning affair in Binghamton yesterday. Starter Erik Goeddel labored through five total innings, allowing six hits, and four earned runs through the first four against the Harrisburg Senators. He also walked three batters, but struck out six to earn a hard fought victory. Fortunately, the line-up staked their pitcher to an 8-1 lead after two innings before the night sky opened up and poured down upon upstate New York. Daniel Muno led the charge with a home run in the first, and Allan Dykstra went yard in the second. Darrell Ceciliani was 3 for 3 at the plate with a triple and two runs batted in. In relief of Goeddel, Adam Kolarek and Jack Leathersich kept things quiet the rest of the way. The victory earned Binghamton a split in their four game series. Another victory today in game three against Harrisburg would get the 18-17 B-Mets back to the .500 mark. They currently reside in fourth place, four games back of the Eastern Division leading Portland Sea Dogs.