BRADENTON, Fla. (August 16, 2014) - The Bradenton Marauders spoiled a terrific start by Luis Cessa by coming from behind to defeat the St. Lucie Mets 5-2 on Saturday at McKechnie Field.
Cessa, making his first start since August 3, allowed just one single and one walk in five shutout innings while striking out seven.
However, the Mets bullpen couldn't hold a 2-0 lead in the eighth. Beck Wheeler gave up three straight singles to start the frame and was replaced by lefty T.J. Chism to face lefty Adam Frazier. The move didn't pay off as Frazier singled to left to make it 2-1 and reload the bases.
After Chism struck out right-hander Walker Gourley, lefty Jordan Steranka cleared the bases with a three-run double to put the Marauders ahead 4-2.
Bradenton added one more run in the inning when Jose Osuna's ground ball to second went through the legs of Phil Evans and Steranka scored.
Yhonathan Barrios pitched around a one-out double by Evans in the ninth to close out the game and get his seventh save.
Marauders starter John Kuchno was matching Cessa pitch-for-pitch through five innings, but the Mets got to him in the sixth. Eudy Pina reached on a leadoff walk and went to second on Jeff McNeil's single. After Maikis De La Cruz bunted to move runners up, Cam Maron grounded out to second to bring home Pina and put the Mets up 1-0.
Jared King followed with a two-out RBI single up the middle and the Mets were looking good up 2-0.
Jake Kuebler retired six in a row in the sixth and seventh, but Bradenton broke through in the eighth with all of its runs and five of its seven hits.
In Friday's game, it was the Mets who scored three runs in the eighth to erase a two-run deficit.
Cessa retired the first 11 batter he faced. His no-hit bid ended with two outs in the fourth on a single by Steranka. The only other batter to reach against Cessa was on a walk in the fifth. He ended up striking out the side.
Maron singled to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The loss was a big blow to the Mets playoff hopes. A win would have moved them with 3.5 games of Bradenton for first place and they would have been going for the sweep on Sunday.
Instead, Sunday's game will serve as the rubber match and the Mets will enter the day 5.5 game behind with just 15 to play. First pitch on Sunday is at 5 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.