KISSIMMEE, FLA.: The Florida Fire Frogs got homers from Zack Soria and Drew Lugbauer but couldn't hold the Charlotte Stone Crabs offense back in a 11-4 setback on Thursday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.
The Stone Crabs strolled to a sweep behind early offense once again. Michael Smith singled, stole a base, moved over on a fly ball from Wander Franco, and scored on a wild pitch from RHP Brooks Wilson to put Charlotte ahead, 1-0.
They would score three more times in the second, capitalizing on three walks from Wilson. Smith's two-run double and a fielding error from Kevin Josephina supplemented the Stone Crabs edge, 4-0.
Smith went 3-5 with a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot.
Three straight Stone Crabs reached in the fourth to pour across two more runs. After a leadoff single from Joey Roach, Garrett Whitley hit a fly ball triple to left for the first tally. A sacrifice fly plated Whitley and padded Charlotte's lead, 6-0.
Wilson (1-2) surrendered four hits, five earned runs, three walks, and racked up four strikeouts over five innings of work.
Soria smoked a home run for the first time in his Advanced-A career in the fifth, taking LHP Michael Plassmeyer deep to left to trim it to 6-1. Soria also drew a walk later in the contest.
Plassmeyer (4-2) continued a run of impressive Charlotte starting pitching performances, using less than 70 pitches to get through six innings, scattering six hits, and allowing just one run.
Moises Gomez had a four-RBI day, swatting a two-run single in the seventh against RHP Daysbel Hernandez for an 8-1 Stone Crabs lead. He would also double home two in the ninth opposite RHP Kurt Hoekstra. He ended up with 7 RBIs in the four-game series.
The Fire Frogs offense didn't go away quietly. Lugbauer smacked his fifth homer in his last eight assignments, a solo shot to left off RHP Justin Marsden in the seventh. Soria brought in another run on a double play ball that enabled Josephina to touch up; 8-3 Stone Crabs after seven stanzas.
Hernandez gave up three hits and two earned runs across two stanzas.
Hoekstra piled up three Ks, but also surrendered four hits and three runs while getting six outs.
Marsden yielded two runs over five outs, using two double plays to minimize the damage.
Roach pushed across a third run in the ninth, scoring Gomez with a base hit to bump the Charlotte margin to 11-3
Jordan Rodgers had a fine day at the plate, going 3-4 with an RBI knock in the ninth inning to cap the scoring at 11-4.
CJ Alexander recorded his second multi-hit effort since returning to action, batting 2-4 with two knocks and swiping a base.
RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson permitted an unearned run while getting the final four outs for the Stone Crabs.
NEXT UP: LHP Philip Pfeifer (1-6, 4.14) hopes to end the four-game skid on Friday night in Clearwater against the Threshers as the Fire Frogs open a six-game road trip. First pitch from Spectrum Field is at 6:30 pm.
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.