JUPITER, Fla. - The Palm Beach Cardinals (13-12, 42-52) blew a six-run lead and were unable take advantage of four RBI from Domnit Bolivar
in an 8-7 loss to the Brevard County Manatees (10-12, 37-55) Monday night in game two of a four-game series at Roger Dean Stadium.
Francisco Samuel (0-2, 21.60 ERA) gave up four earned runs on four hits and a walk in one inning of relief to suffer the loss for Palm Beach, his second in four games with the team this season. Samuel, a 24-year-old righty out of the Dominican Republic, spent the first two months on the Class-AAA Memphis disabled list after suffering a shoulder injury while pitching for St. Louis in Spring Training. He previously gave up four runs in 0.1 innings June 20 in his 2011 Palm Beach debut.
Palm Beach jumped on the board early in the first inning with a pair without even recording a hit, as four straight one-out walks and a Rainel Rosario sacrifice fly put the score at 2-0. Brevard County came back with a run in the second thanks to doubles from D'Vontrey Richardson and catcher Shawn Zarraga, with the latter recording the RBI.
Niko Vasquez began the big third-inning rally with a one-out single, after Greg Garcia was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a two-bagger, and was followed by a double from Xavier Scruggs before Bolivar launched his third homer of the season, a three-run shot, to left. Rosario then walked and Adam Melker delivered a single to set up Luis De La Cruz to cap the scoring with a two-run double to center that gave Palm Beach a seemingly comfortable 7-1 lead.
Cardinals' starter Richard Castillo battled through the first four innings, allowing just the one run while striking out seven, before running into some serious trouble in the fifth. Scooter Gennett began the rally with a ground-rule double to straightaway center, followed by a run-scoring hit from Kentrail Davis and an error by Ted Obregon. Hunter Morris and Khris Davis added singles, Richardson recorded a RBI-groundout and Shea Vucinich chipped in a single to cut the six-run lead to three after five.
Samuel was called upon in the seventh in relief of Jesse Simpson, who fired a scoreless inning while striking out two, and immediately gave up a single and RBI-triple to Morris that began yet another Manatees rally. Davis followed with a walk and Richardson knocked in one with a double to left to tie the game before Zarraga drove in the eventual game-winner with a sharp single through the middle.
Palm Beach managed to load the bases with just one out in the eighth but was unable to push across the tying run, ending up 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and with 11 men left on base. Bolivar recorded four RBI, Garcia, Scruggs and Melker had multiple hits and Vasquez scored twice for Palm Beach. Jeff Lyman finished the game out of the bullpen with two scoreless, hitless innings.
Roque Mercedes (1-1, 5.14 ERA) earned the win for Brevard County with 1.2 scoreless innings of relief while Bradley Blanks picked up his first save.
Palm Beach will attempt to turn things around against the team with the league's worst record tomorrow night in game three of the four-game set as righty Eric Fornataro (6-7, 3.91 ERA) opposes right-hander Nicholas Bucci (5-8, 3.82 ERA) at 6:35 p.m.
For more information on the Palm Beach Cardinals, Class-A Advanced affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, please call (561) 775-1818 or visit www.palmbeachcardinals.com. For tickets and more information regarding Roger Dean Stadium, please visit www.rogerdeanstadium.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.