PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (August 31, 2017) - Andrew Church pitched the St. Lucie Mets to a 3-1 victory over the Palm Beach Cardinals on Thursday at First Data Field.
The Mets workhorse starter was stellar over eight innings. Church scattered four hits, allowed one run and only threw 99 pitches. He walked one batter and struck out a hitter.
Church earned his FSL-leading 12th win. He also took over the league lead in innings pitched with 156. Church, the St. Lucie opening day starter, only missed one turn in the rotation all season and that was because he made a spot start for Double-A Binghamton in July.
Closer Gerson Bautista finished off the Cardinals in the ninth. He struck out two and worked around a two-out single to collect his fourth save in four chances.
The Mets offense was fueled by four doubles. Jacob Zanon and Tim Tebow hit back-to-back doubles off of Ross Vance to start the first inning. Tebow's double brought home Zanon for a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals tied the game in the second inning on a two-out RBI double from Shane Billings.
The Mets quickly answered in their half of the second. Michael Paez led off the frame with a double and scored on a single by Enmanuel Zabala to make it 2-1.
Paez started the seventh inning with another double and came around to score on a two-out single from J.C. Rodriguez for a 3-1 Mets lead.
Paez went 2 for 2 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored.
The Mets (61-74, 28-39) and Cardinals (73-58, 33-31) play the second game of their season-ending series on Friday. It is the final game at First Data Field in 2017. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.