Port Charlotte, FL
The Daytona Cubs were outmuscled again in an 8-3 loss against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Charlotte Sports Park on Thursday night.
The Cubs fell behind 4-0 in the opening inning as each of the Stone Crabs' first four hitters reached base. A CF Ty Morrison triple, a hit batter and an RBI single by RF Mikie Mahtook set the stage for 3B Riccio Torrez, whose second homer of the series gave Charlotte a four-run advantage
LHP Frank Del Valle (L, 2-1) settled down after allowing five runs in the first two frames, retiring the last nine hitters he faced. The southpaw allowed five runs on five hits with no walks and two strikeouts in five innings. Del Valle has now allowed one home run in each of his four starts.
Daytona answered with one run in the second, when RF Elieser Bonne scored after a lead-off double, a fielder's choice and a sacrifice fly from 3B Dustin Harrington. That was all the Cubs could muster against starter RHP Albert Suarez (W, 1-2), who dealt six innings of one-run, six hit baseball with no walks and three strikeouts.
Charlotte added an insurance run in the second, and three more off RHP Larry Suarez on a two-RBI double from C Mayo Acosta and a run-scoring single by LF Cody Rogers in the sixth. 1B Phil Wunderlich was the only Stone Crab hitter who did not have a hit.
RHP A.J. Morris and RHP Tony Zych combined for a scoreless eighth and ninth to keep the Cubs in it, but LHP Chris Rearick worked around a two-out single from 2B Roni Torreyes to close out the ninth. Torreyes' single was his first in his last 22 at-bats.
The Cubs plated two runs in the eighth against RHP Victor Mateo, as RF Nelson Perez knocked in SS Arismendy Alcantara on a single, and CF Matt Szczur came home on Bonne's fielder's choice. Perez' single extended his consecutive games on-base streak to 22. John Andreoli, who did not play, has reached base safely in all 25 games he has a plate appearance in this season.
Daytona matched Charlotte with 9 hits, but went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The two teams will play the final game of a four-game set on Friday night at Charlotte Sports Park. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.