PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (June 11, 2017) - The Florida Fire Frogs fell short in their bid for their first series victory since early May, as the Atlanta Braves High-A affiliate dropped the finale of the four-game set against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, 4-2, at Charlotte Sports Park on Sunday afternoon.
Florida (24-38) struck first in the opening frame without the benefit of a hit. Ray-Patrick Didder (0x2, R, BB, 2 SB) was hit by a pitch from Brad Boxberger to put the leadoff man on base. Didder swiped second with Matt Gonzalez (1x4, RBI) at the plate, who then lined out to third for the first out.
With Alay Lago (0x3, BB) at the plate, Didder stole his second base of the inning when the speedster took third. Boxberger unleashed a wild pitch in the at-bat to Lago, allowing Didder to trot home for the first run of the game.
Charlotte (29-31) took the lead with a two-run second inning, while knocking Ricardo Sanchez out of the game in the process.
Sanchez walked Brett Sullivan to start the inning, and Dalton Kelly singled to right to put runners on the corners with nobody out. The lefty struck out Jake Cronenworth for the first out, but Jim Haley singled on a grounder to short to bring home Sullivan to tie the game at one apiece.
Peter Maris lined a single off of Sanchez's foot to load the bases and force the Fire Frogs' starter from the game.
Sean McLaughlin (2-2) took over with the bags full and just one out, and the right-hander forced in a run with a free pass issued to Thomas Milone to put Florida behind by a run.
The reliever rebounded by forcing David Olmedo-Barrera into a fielder's choice, and struck out Wilson Ramos to limit the damage to just two runs.
Sanchez finished the outing with just 1.1 innings under his belt with two runs allowed on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts on 29 pitches (19 strikes).
Gonzalez tied the game up at two in the top of the third with a line drive to left field, scoring Anfernee Seymour (1x3, R, SB) from second with two outs.
The Stone Crabs took the lead back with a run against McLaughlin in the fourth.
A leadoff double from Cronenworth started the action in the inning, and a sacrifice bunt from Haley moved the go-ahead run over the third. Maris followed with a single to left to plate Cronenworth to put Florida into a one-run deficit.
Charlotte grabbed an insurance run in the seventh against Josh Graham by utilizing a leadoff triple from Maris. After a strikeout to Milone, Olmedo-Barrera drove the run home with a sharply hit bouncer up the middle to put Florida behind by two.
Jacob Webb worked the eighth inning and allowed a two-out single to Cronenworth, but left the runner stranded by setting down Haley with a fly out to right.
Genesis Cabrera (4-5) earned the win out of the bullpen for the Stone Crabs. The left-hander allowed one run on three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts on 81 pitches (54 strikes). Brandon Lawson (SV, 4) earned his second save of the series with a perfect ninth to split the set between the two clubs.
Florida returns home to Osceola County Stadium for game one of a four-game series against the Daytona Tortugas on Monday night. RHP Touki Toussaint (1-7, 6.32) will attempt to snap a seven-decision losing streak in the opener against for the Fire Frogs, while it has yet to be determined who will take the mound for the Tortugas.
First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., with gates opening at 6:00 p.m. Coverage of the series opener will start at 6:50 p.m. on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.
The opener will be "Margarita Monday," where fans can enjoy $3 margaritas and $2 empanadas. Every Monday through Wednesday home game is "Service Industry Night," where members of the service industry can purchase tickets at a discounted rate.
About the Florida Fire Frogs
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.