PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (May 15, 2018) - The Charlotte Stone Crabs' bullpen allowed eight runs over the final two innings for the second straight night, blowing a 7-1 lead in a 9-8 defeat at the hands of the Lakeland Flying Tigers Tuesday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
With the Stone Crabs (18-20) leading 7-1 entering the eighth inning, reliever Mikey York hit Daz Cameron with a pitch before Chad Sedio singled him to second. After an infield single from Austin Athmann loaded the bases, Daniel Pinero was hit by a pitch to make the score 7-2. Dylan Burdeaux then walked to force home another run and make the score 7-3. With the bases still loaded and one out, Jose Azocar flew out to right to score Athmann and make it 7-4.
After Charlotte added a run in the bottom of the inning on a wild pitch to make it 8-4, Lakeland (17-20) started the ninth with a Cam Gibson double. After J.D. Busfield (0-3) entered to pitch, the Flying Tigers strung together three straight singles to make the score 8-6. After a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Pinero tripled to deep center to bring home both runners and tie the game at eight. Burdeaux followed with a sacrifice fly to give Lakeland the decisive 9-8 lead.
Joe Navilhon (1-3) worked 1.2 scoreless innings for the Flying Tigers to earn the win.
Stone Crabs starter Brock Burke allowed just one run over 6.2 innings, striking out eight while walking three. Burke threw 112 pitches on the night, 15 more than any other Charlotte starter all season.
The shocking loss overshadowed some strong offensive performances. Peter Maris went 4-for-5 with three extra-base hits and 3 RBI. Nate Lowe finished 2-for-5 with a double and 3 RBI.
After beginning the season 18-0 when leading after seven innings, the Stone Crabs have lost three such contests in a row. They also entered Saturday 6-0 when receiving a quality start before squandering three straight.
They'll look to get back on track against Lakeland on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. Brandon Lawson (1-3, 5.50) makes the start for Charlotte against Spenser Watkins (2-0, 1.46) of the Flying Tigers. Coverage starts at 6:20 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.