Playing through the elements, the Clearwater Threshers fell 7-3 to the Bradenton Marauders in a rain shortened series opener on Monday night at Spectrum Field. Game two has been moved to July 23 and a double header will be played starting at 5 p.m.
The Threshers' (51-48, 15-18) offense got off to a hot start against Aaron Shortridge (5-4). Daniel Brito smashed the first pitch for a leadoff home run to right for a 1-0 lead. After Bradenton (53-45, 17-15) recorded the first out, Nick Maton bounced an infield hit off Shortirdge's glove and Rodolfo Duran followed with a two-run blast to left for a 3-0 edge. Shortridge limited further damage by striking out Madison Stokes and Luke Miller.
After a scoreless first, James McArthur in his Clearwater debut ran into a bit of trouble in the second. After a walk to Mason Martin and a wild pitch, Deon Stafford lined a base hit up the middle to make it a 2-1 game. Bradenton tied things up in the third against McArthur with a two-run bloop single to right off the bat of Lucas Tancas.
McArthur finished his Clearwater debut with 2.2 frames of work with two hits allowed and three strikeouts. He left with the game tied 3-3.
After the teams traded a scoreless fourth, Bradenton's offense found a spark in the fifth against Kyle Arjona (1-2). A walk and a double with one out put two runners in scoring position against Arjona. After the right-hander struck out Lucas Tancas for the second out, Mason Martin delivered a go-ahead two-run single to center to give the Marauders a 5-3 lead. Cal Mitchell followed with a two-run shot to right to push Bradenton ahead 7-3.
The game moved into the top of the seventh with Austin Ross on the mound. With two outs, the rains came down at Spectrum Field and the game entered a rain delay. The game was officially called at 9:07 p.m. and Bradenton secured the rain shortened 7-3 lead.
Aaron Shortridge finished off a six-inning complete game with five hits allowed and three runs. Clearwater drew three free passes against the right-hander but managed just one hit after the fourth.
The Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate falls to 3-6 against Bradenton this year and is 22-24 against teams from the Florida State League south division. The bright spot for the Threshers came from Rodolfo Duran. The backstop reached went 2-2 with a home-run and a walk. The 21-year-old is hitting .302 in the month of July with three home-runs.
Bradenton and Cleawater will continue their series with a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday night at Spectrum Field. Game one will pit Threshers' RHP Julian Garcia (6-6 2.87) against a starter yet to be determined for the Marauders. RHP Alejandro Requena (6-7 4.52) is set to toe the rubber for the Threshers in game two against Marauders' RHP Nicholas Economos (4-3 2.01). First pitch for tomorrow's doubleheader is scheduled for 5 p.m. with coverage beginning at 4:45 p.m. at threshersbaseball.com.
Dollar Tuesday returns to Spectrum Field for tomorrow night's action. Berm tickets are just $1 and available walk-up at Spectrum Field. Fans can also enjoy $1 hot dogs, 16oz fountain sodas, chips and more.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.