JUPITER, Fla. - The Hammerheads were held to four hits in their 5-1 loss to the Charlotte Stone Crabs in game one of their double-header Monday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
Hammerheads' starting pitcher Josh Hodges allowed one run in the first, second and third innings. He was pulled from the game after five frames and was charged with three earned runs on five hits and four walks. He allowed one home run, a second-inning blast off the bat of Alejandro Segovia.
Segovia went deep again in the sixth inning off Hammerheads' reliever Joe O'Gara, his third of the series and fifth in his last eight games. The 6-foot, 185-pounder is now batting .270/.348/.500 with 12 home runs in 204 at-bats with the Stone Crabs this season.
Kes Carter also homered off O'Gara in the sixth, his fourth of the season.
O'Gara recorded two outs, but yielded two solo home runs, a walk and hit a batter. After a few clean outings, O'Gara has allowed two earned runs in each of his last three appearances.
Alex Burg collected half of Jupiter's four hits, raising his season batting average to .331 with his 2-for-3 performance. He also drove in the Hammerheads' only run in game one on an RBI single that scored Austin Nola in the first inning.
Drew Vettleson went 3-for-4 with three doubles for the Stone Crabs. He drove in two, but failed to score a run.
The Jupiter loss marked the 20th time they've been held to one run or fewer this season. They're 1-19 in those games.
The Hammerheads fared much better in game two, winning the nightcap 5-0 behind 5.1 shutout innings from Justin Nicolino. The left-hander scattered three hits and walked two, while striking out a season-high seven batters. He threw 55 of 82 pitches for strikes (67 percent).
The win was Nicolino's fifth of the season as he lowered his ERA to a sparkling 2.23, second-best among qualified starters in the Florida State League. The Hammerheads have now won eight of Nicolino's last nine starts, and he's allowed only five hits in his last 12.1 innings.
Nicolino has held opponents to one earned run or less in 11 of his 16 starts this season. Since starting 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA, the Hammerheads' ace is 5-0 with a 1.81 ERA in his last 14 starts.
All nine starters reached base for the Hammerheads in game two. Isaac Galloway and Wilfredo Gimenez each went 2-for-3 with a walk; Galloway also scored twice.
Gimenez's two-hit effort follows a spectacular June in which he hit .295 (18-for-61). In his last 21 games, Gimenez has raised his season batting average 75 points.
Willie Argo stole a base in game two for Charlotte, his team-leading 21st theft in 23 tries this season.
After committing at least one error in six consecutive games, the Hammerheads have now gone three straight without one.
Following Tuesday's off-day, they'll look to keep the errorless streak alive as they kickoff a three-game set with the Mets. Game one will be played in Jupiter, games two and three will be in St. Lucie. RHP Jose Urena (8-3, 3.40 ERA) will pitch for the Hammerheads Wednesday night. The Mets have yet to announce their probable starting pitcher.
For more information on the Jupiter Hammerheads, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Miami Marlins, please call (561) 775-1818 or visit JupiterHammerheads.com. For tickets and more information about Roger Dean Stadium, visit RogerDeanStadium.com.