Port Charlotte, FL - The Palm Beach Cardinals (5-2) found themselves in a two run hole through four innings, but a Luke Dykstra two-run home run in the tenth gave the Cardinals an 8-7 victory.
Junior Fernandez was the starter for the Beach Birds today, but did not have the stuff that he normally has and still found a way to give his team a chance to win the game in the end. He tossed five innings of eight hit baseball, giving up five runs while walking two and striking out three.
The Cardinals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning as a couple of errors lead to two unearned runs for the Cardinals. Chris Chinea started the inning by reaching on an error and Thomas Spitz singled to put the runners on first and second. Danny Diekroeger bunted them over. Randy Arozarena hit a ball to short that also resulted in an error allowing Chinea to cross the plate. Austin Wilson added to the fun by singling in Spitz and making it 2-0.
Charlotte got the two back in the bottom half of the frame as Fernandez walked the first two batters of the inning, Kevin Padlo and Dalton Kelly. Padlo came around to score on a David Rodriguez double and Kelly scored on a ground out from the bat of Nathan Lukes that tied the game 2-2.
Magneuris Sierra and Darren Seferina started the third with a couple of infield singles. Sierra came across the plate on a Chinea sacrifice fly giving Palm Beach the 3-2 lead in the third.
In the bottom of the fourth, everything went in favor of the Stone Crabs as they took a 5-3 lead. Kelly started the frame with a single and got to second on a one-out single from Lukes. Kelly scored on a double to right from David Olmedo-Barrera. Peter Maris III hit a single that score Luke and Olmedo-Barrera to make it 5-3 through four.
The Cardinals scored a run in the top of the fifth on three infield singles by Sierra, Seferina and Chinea to pull back to within 5-4.
They later took a 6-5 lead in the seventh when Sierra and Seferina hit back-to-back one out singles, putting runners on the corners. Edmundo Sosa grounded out to score Sierra and tie the game. Chinea gave the Cardinals the lead by hitting a single up the middle that scored Seferina from second.
Charlotte tied things in the eighth after Kelly reached on a one out walk and got to second on a ground ball. A wild pitch advanced Kelly to third who then scored on a Sosa error at short.
This set up the extra inning heroics of Dykstra, who came into the game in the ninth inning to pinch run for Austin Wilson. Danny Diekroeger started the inning by reaching on a single. With one away Dykstra came to the plate and took the first pitch he saw over the left field fence.
Landon Beck came on to close out the game and gave up one run, but preserved the 8-7 victory.
Stat of the Game
1 - Dykstra only needed one at bat in the game to hit his two run home run in the tenth after pinch running for Wilson in the ninth. He had come into the game with only 2 home runs in 714 at-bats while in the minor leagues.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.