Daytona Beach, FL
The Daytona Cubs fell 3-2 in 10 innings to the Palm Beach Cardinals at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, Saturday.
Game three of the four game series featured a tremendous outing from each starting pitcher. Ironically, each was only making his second start of the season.
For the Cardinals, RHP Arquimedes Nieto took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Leading 2-0 with one out and a runner on first in the eighth, Cubs 3B Dustin Harrington hit a ground ball to the left side. SS Domnit Bolivar threw the ball to second in attempt to start a 6-4-3 double play and end the inning, but 2B Starlin Rodriguez lost the ball and allowed the throw to go into right field. With runners on the corners, CF Matt Szczur, the next batter for the Cubs, lined a two-run triple to the left-center field gap to tie the game at 2-2. The Cubs stranded the go-ahead run at third.
In the tenth, Cardinals C Luis De La Cruz led off the frame with a bunt single. CF Adam Melker then sacrificed him over to second. With one out, 2B Starlin Rodriguez knuckled a line drive out to deep right-center field that Szczur misplayed, allowing the Cardinals to take a 3-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter LHP Jeff Antigua had the longest outing of the season for any Daytona pitcher. He went 7 and 1/3 innings and allowed just one run, a solo homerun by LF Kyle Conley, on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. The southpaw consistently worked down in the zone and had his curveball on-point all night.
The Cubs managed just two hits in the ten innings.
Extremely Bizarre Play Conley led off the seventh and popped a ball up on the infield. Originally ticketed for foul territory, the wind carried the ball back above the field of play. C Mike Brenly and Antigua were on both sides of the first base line, with Conley running down to first in-between them. The ball came down and landed directly on Conley's helmet while he was running down to first in fair territory. Because the left fielder was in fair territory, he was immediately (and correctly) ruled out on "Batter's Interference" by Home Plate Umpire Pat Homberg.
With the loss, the Cubs have now dropped back-to-back games and fall to 60-39 on the season. They'll look to salvage a split of the series in the finale on Sunday at The Jack. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35pm.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.