TAMPA, Fla. (August 8, 2019) - Stephen Woods Jr. turned in a quality start Thursday as the Charlotte Stone Crabs started an eight-game road trip with a 5-4 win over the Tampa Tarpons at Steinbrenner Field.
Both starters cruised through the first three innings before the Stone Crabs (69-46, 34-15) broke through in the fourth. With two outs and nobody on, Michael Smith cranked a triple off the top of the wall in right. The next batter was Garrett Whitley , who dropped an RBI double down the right field line to give Charlotte a 1-0 line. Connor Hollis followed by lining a single to right to score Whitley and make it 2-0.
Still up by that margin in the bottom of the fifth, Stone Crabs starter Stephen Woods Jr. (9-2) hit Diego Castillo with one out. Two batters later, Donny Sands scraped a two-run homer over the short porch in right to tie the game 2-2.
Woods Jr. limited Tampa to three hits over six innings, striking out seven without walking a batter.
Still tied in the top of the sixth, Moises Gomez reached on a walk before Smith rolled a ball to shortstop. Oswaldo Cabrera's flip to second base escaped wildly to right field, allowing Gomez to score and make it 3-2. With Smith at third and one out, Hollis bounced a ball to Cabrera. Cabrera's throw was off line, allowing Smith to slide in safely and make it 4-2. With two outs, Jake Palomaki lined a hit to right to put men at the corners. After a walk loaded the bases, Anderson Severino (2-2) walked Ronaldo Hernandez to force in a run and make it 5-2.
After an Alexander Palma home run made it 5-3, the Tarpons loaded the bases with one out in the eighth. Chandler Raiden entered and hit Angel Aguilar with a pitch to make it 5-4. Raiden then bounced back to get a pop out and fielder's choice to end the threat. Raiden worked a perfect ninth inning to notch his ninth save.
The Stone Crabs will go for their fourth straight win at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Drew Strotman (0-0, 3.00) will make the start for Charlotte, against Luis Gil (1-0, 7.00) of the Tarpons. Coverage begins at 6:15 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.