The Port St. Lucie Mets won a marvelous pitching duel this evening by a 1-0 final. PSL left fielder Dustin Lawley led off the home second inning by drawing a walk off Bradenton Marauders starting pitcher Eliecer Navarro. After stealing second base, first baseman Rylan Sandoval singled Dustin over to third. Catcher Albert Cordero then stepped in against Navarro and drove a single to right, scoring Lawley from third. St. Lucie starting pitcher Angel Cuan made the Mets’ lone run stand through six full innings, surrendering but two hits, walking none, and striking out seven. Eliecer Navarro wasn’t doing too badly himself. Through six full innings, he allowed St. Lucie their lone run on four hits, walked one and struck out four.
The pitching duel continued through the seventh. Angel Cuan stayed strong, striking out the first two batters he faced, while retiring the Marauders in order. In the bottom of the seventh, Aderlin Rodriguez led off with a single to left. After retiring the next two batters, Navarro issued a walk to Albert Cordero, putting Rodriguez in scoring position. That finished Eliecer Navarro’s evening. In relief, Joan Montero took over for Bradenton, and promptly struck out St. Lucie’s number nine hitter, center fielder Gilbert Gomez to end the Mets’ threat.
The ball was taken out of starting pitcher Angel Cuan’s hand and placed into Jeurys Familia‘s for the eighth inning. Familia then struck out the first batter he faced, and retired the Marauders in order. In the bottom of the frame, Bradenton reliever Joan Montero likewise made short work of the Mets, inducing three ground ball outs. Scott Atchison took over for Jeurys Familia in the ninth, and followed suit, retiring the minimum three batters, striking out his first, and inducing two ground ball outs of his own – the last of which was a come-backer fielded by Atchison, to end the game.
Angel Cuan pitched seven full innings to earn his fifth victory of the season against just one loss. He turned back the first eight batters he faced, while overall, allowing just two hits, no runs, and no walks. He struck out nine Bradenton batters while lowering his ERA from 4.50 to 3.69.
The bullpen was served well by recovering pitchers Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia, both making their first respective mound appearances since last pitching for the big club earlier in the month. Atchison, who last pitched on May 13th, earned this evening’s save. Similarly, Jeurys Familia last pitched on May 8th against the White Sox.
The victory improved the PSL Mets’ record to 27-20. However, they remain in second place, a considerable 7.5 games behind the division leading Fort Myers Miracle. The win also knotted their series against the Bradenton Marauders at a game apiece. Bradenton dropped to fifth place with a 20-29 record, and sit 15.5 games behind the Miracle. The rubber game is scheduled for Sunday, followed by a day off for Memorial Day.