Bradenton, Fla. - The Marauders (1-8) snagged their first win Saturday night at McKechnie Field, besting the St. Lucie Mets 4-3. Zach Thornton retired the final six Mets batters to earn his first save.
Adrian Sampson's second start for Bradenton started like his debut ended. The first three batters of the game hit safely, spotting the Mets to an early 1-0 lead. Sampson escaped the first with only one more run scoring and went on to set down 13 straight St. Lucie batters. He left after 4 and 1/3 innings pitched, allowing four hits and just the two runs, striking out three.
Mets prospect Noah Syndergaard, a key part of the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto during the offseason, made it look like the 2-0 lead would be enough early. The right cruised through the first three innings without allowing a hit.
Like Friday, the Marauders broke through in the fourth inning when Syndergaard's command wavered. A bases loaded walk to Jacob Stallings halved the lead to 2-1. Syndergaard whiffed eight through five innings, but left with the score tied 2-2 after a two out rally. Benji Gonzalez singled and stole second in front of an RBI base knock from Gregory Polanco.
The Mets scored in the top of the seventh against Robbie Kilcrease (W, 1-0) to briefly take a 3-2 lead. It was the first run surrendered by Kilcrease in 2013, coming in his third inning on the mound in the game. He had escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth in relief of Sampson.
Bradenton scored the decisive runs in the seventh against Estarlin Morel (L, 1-1). Alen Hanson bunted for a hit with one out and promptly stole second. Gonzalez doubled to score Hanson. After Polanco flew out, Jose Osuna hit an infield single to put runners at the corners. Dan Gamache followed with a single to right for the go-ahead run. Osuna and Gamache each wound up caught between bases on the play, with Osuna being tagged out at the plate to end the inning.
The rubber match of the series is Sunday at 1:00 p.m. It is a Wendy's Family Fun Sunday, meaning tickets and hot dogs are just $1. Eliecer Navarro is scheduled to pitch for the Marauders. Angel Cuan will start for St. Lucie.