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'Tees drop series opener to Mets

Brevard falls 9-3 to St. Lucie for third straight loss
July 17, 2013

VIERA, Fla. - The Brevard County Manatees fell behind early and never could catch up as they dropped Wednesday night's series opener to the St. Lucie Mets at Space Coast Stadium, by the score of 9-3.

St. Lucie led from the get-go, but continued to be patient to be sure that they walked away with the win. A walk started up a two-out rally in the eighth, when the Mets scored a pair off of Santo Manzanillo to push their lead from 4-3 to 6-3.

Three more St. Lucie runs ended up scoring against Dan Meadows in the final frame, during which he hit the leadoff man and later walked four with one hit allowed, but those runs acted only as insurance for the Mets.

Brevard County (13-11 second half, 50-41 overall) used two runs in the sixth to tighten the game, having initially trailed 4-0 at the halfway point. Yadiel Rivera opened the sixth with a single up the middle and then Mitch Haniger was hit by a pitch. Nick Ramirez came up and singled through the right side to score Rivera and move Haniger over to third base. Haniger later scored on a Greg Hopkins fielder's choice.

The Manatees scored their first run in in the bottom of the fifth, after Cody Hawn doubled and was able to cross the plate on a single by Brandon Macias. Hawn's double was Brevard County's only extra-base hit of the night.

In each of the first three innings, the Mets (14-10, 51-40) scored single runs by putting a man on, stealing second base, and getting an RBI hit two batters later. While the formula changed slightly in the fifth, requiring just a single and a ground-rule double, they were able to edge the lead out to 4-0 before Brevard began to score.

Manatees' starting pitcher Cody Scarpetta (0-4, 6.00 ERA) went 4.2 innings for the second straight start, which also matches his longest outing of the season. He was charged with four runs on eight hits. Scarpetta did tie his season-best with four strikeouts and walked just one batter. The one free pass was his fewest since June 30, 2011 with Huntsville.

St. Lucie's Hansel Robles fell just shy of a quality start, leaving with two outs in the sixth and a runner on base after giving up two runs in the frame and three in all. He did not issue a walk, struck out four and surrendered seven hits. Randy Fontanez was the first man out of the bullpen for the Mets and he struck out five of the seven men he faced in 2.1 scoreless frames.

Game two of the series will take place on Thursday night at Space Coast Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Brevard County will send Chad Pierce (5-3, 3.49) to the mound, while Matt Bowman (5-2, 2.75) will get the start for St. Lucie.