CLEARWATER -- J.P. Crawford extended his hit streak to nine games with a solo homer in the Clearwater Threshers' 3-2 loss to the Palm Beach Cardinals on Pitch For Pink night at Bright House Field.
Friday's Pitch for Pink night saw the Threshers don special pink jerseys in support of breast cancer research and awareness, with proceeds from the night benefiting the hospitals of Morton Plant Mease.
Kevin Walter got the nod on the mound in a spot start for Clearwater (9-12), and pitched the first four innings. Walter allowed two runs on four hits while striking out two and not walking a batter. The Colorado native received a no-decision.
The Threshers got the scoring started in the bottom of the first when Crawford crushed a big fly over the wall in right to give Clearwater a 1-0 lead. The score remained that way until the top of the third when Palm Beach (15-6) scored two runs on three hits.
Crawford now has a nine-game hitting streak, which is a new season-high by a Clearwater hitter. The previous high was eight, set by five different players.
Clearwater tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Harold Martinez jumped on a 2-2 pitch from Tyrell Jenkins and deposited it into Frenchy's in left field. It was Martinez's fourth homer of the year.
Jenkins (4-1) earned the win by tossing six innings, and surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out five and walking two.
Palm Beach's bullpen combined to allow just one hit over the final three innings and keep the Threshers off the scoreboard. That would prove to be important as in the top of the seventh, Lino Martinez allowed a two-out solo homerun to Mason Katz that put the Cardinals on top, 3-2.
Martinez (0-6) was charged with the loss after going three innings in relief. The only damage done off the Threshers' lefty was the solo shot by Katz. He allowed that run on two hits while striking out four.
Game two of the series between Palm Beach and Clearwater is set for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night at Bright House Field. Mark Leiter, Jr. will get the ball for the Threshers and he will be opposed by Joe Cuda of the Cardinals. Coverage begins at 6:15 p.m. on threshersbaseball.com.