JUPITER, Fla. - The Jupiter Hammerheads were shutout for the ninth time this season in their 1-0 loss to the St. Lucie Mets Wednesday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Mets scored their only run on a controversial call at first base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning.
With the bases loaded, St. Lucie's Gilbert Gomez hit a ground ball deep in the hole to Hammerheads' shortstop Austin Nola. As the runners from first, second and third advanced, Nola fired his throw across the infield to first base. The throw appeared to beat Gomez to the bag, but first base umpire Clay Park ruled him safe, allowing Matt Reynolds to score from third and break the 0-0 tie.
Mets reliever Tim Byrdak set the Hammerheads down in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the 1-0 victory.
RHP Jose Urena tossed seven shutout innings for Jupiter, allowing just five runs and one walk while striking out five. He threw 62 of his 82 pitches for strikes (76 percent) and topped out at 95 mph on the stadium radar gun.
In his last six starts (38 innings), Urena has held opponents to just three earned runs, lowering his season ERA to 3.14. He now leads the team in innings (91.2) and strikeouts (67).
The Hammerheads were held to just two hits on the night, both one-out singles in the third inning. The second base-hit, one off the bat of Ryan Rieger, sent Alfredo Lopez running towards home plate from second. The throw from Gomez in center met Lopez at the dish, and Mets' catcher Kevin Plawecki tagged Lopez for the second out.
Alex Burg followed with a groundout to second base to end the threat.
Christian Yelich-in his first rehab game with Jupiter-had Jupiter's only other hit. Yelich was placed on the disabled list with an abdominal injury on June 5 while playing with Double-A Jacksonville. He's expected to play a few games with the Hammerheads before returning to the Suns.
Mets' starter Domingo Tapia fired 6.2 shutout innings, walking two while allowing four hits. He struck out five.
After going three straight games without committing an error, the Hammerheads were charged with three Wednesday night, including one on the play at first base in the ninth inning.
St. Lucie's Dustin Lawley had the only extra-base hit of the game, a double to leadoff the sixth inning.
The two teams combined to hit 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position, stranding 17 base runners.
The two-hour and 34-minute pitching duel almost didn't happen, as a two-hour and eight-minute rain delay pushed back the game's start time.
The Hammerheads will look to even the series tomorrow as they travel to St. Lucie for game two of this three-game set. RHP Jake Esch (1-4, 3.47 ERA) will take the mound for Jupiter. He'll be opposed by RHP Hansel Robles (3-2, 3.38 ERA).
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.