PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (May 5, 2018) - After two straight sluggish games, the Charlotte Stone Crabs' bats broke out Saturday, beating the Bradenton Marauders 8-6 at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs (14-15) were dialed in right away against Bradenton (17-12) starter Oddy Nunez (1-1). With two outs in the top of the first, David Rodriguez doubled to left before Nate Lowe drove him in with a single to center. After a Jesus Sanchez hit moved Lowe to second, Peter Maris pulled a run-scoring single to right to make it 2-0 Charlotte.
Still up by that count in the second, Stone Crabs shortstop Tristan Gray doubled to the wall in center. Miles Mastrobuoni followed by lining a single to right to bring in Gray and give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead.
Despite the consistent lead, Charlotte stranded a season-high 11 runners, including nine in the first four innings.
With the score 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Stone Crabs loaded the bases with nobody out before the next two batters were retired. With two outs, Rodriguez stroked a single to center. That brought home two runs before a wild throw to third by Marauders catcher Jason Delay allowed a third run to score and give Charlotte a 6-1 lead.
After Bradenton scored three in the top of the sixth, the Stone Crabs answered back on a two-run home run by Maris to extend the lead to 8-4.
The Marauders got two runs in the ninth, but Charlotte held on to even the series at one.
Stone Crabs starter Brandon Lawson (1-3) went five-plus innings to get the win, allowing three runs on six hits.
The Stone Crabs will go for the series win on Sunday afternoon at 12:35 p.m. Kenny Rosenberg (1-1, 5.01) makes the start for Charlotte against Luis Escobar (1-1, 3.08) of Bradenton. Coverage starts at 12:20 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.