PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (August 17, 2018) - The Stone Crabs used seven walks and a tremendous pitching performance from Josh Fleming Friday to defeat Palm Beach 5-4 at Charlotte Sports Park.
Fleming went 7.1 innings in relief, striking out seven while allowing just one run on two hits. He retired the final 17 batters he faced.
The Stone Crabs (66-54, 32-21) used the walk to climb back into the game. Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Charlotte rallied for four runs without the benefit of a hit. They strung together five walks and a hit by pitch to tie the game at four before Rene Pinto plated the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to left to make it 5-4 Stone Crabs.
However, it was the Cardinals (67-51, 28-26) who jumped in front early with the long ball. Kramer Robertson pulled a solo home run to left on the first at bat of the ballgame before Conner Capel added a two-run shot in the second to make it 3-0 Palm Beach.
In the bottom of the inning, Pinto walked with one out. Two batters later, Kevin Padlo drilled an RBI double off the wall in right to bring the Stone Crabs to within 3-1.
However, Dylan Carlson skied a solo home run to left in the third to extend the Cardinals lead to 4-1.
The Charlotte win keeps them within 0.5 games of a playoff spot with 16 games remaining.
The Stone Crabs will go for the series win on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. Brandon Lawson (2-5, 4.47) makes the start for Charlotte against Ian Oxnevad (5-6, 5.20) of Palm Beach. Coverage starts at 5:50 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.