PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (June 27, 2017) - Ryan Boldt reached base three times but the Charlotte Stone Crabs dropped the first game of the series to the Tampa Yankees 8-4 Tuesday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
After scoring 39 runs on 55 hits in their previous four games, Charlotte (3-2, 34-39) was held to just four hits against Yankees pitching.
Tampa (4-1, 42-32) got the offense going quickly against Tampa Bay Rays rehabber Brad Boxberger . Yankees left fielder Tito Polo drew a leadoff walk and then stole second base. After a groundout moved him to third, Trey Amburgey pulled a single to left to give Tampa a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Yankees second baseman Nick Solak homered to left to extend the lead to 2-0.
Down by two in the bottom of the fourth, Stone Crabs shortstop Jake Cronenworth singled to left to start the inning. Peter Maris then singled to right before Brandon Lowe pulled a grounder down the first base line. Tampa first baseman Tim Lynch dove and tipped the ball with his glove before it rolled behind the infield, allowing Cronenworth to score to make the score 2-1. After Brett Sullivan advanced the runners on a groundout, Boldt lined a single to left to tie the game at two. With runners at the corners and one out, David Rodriguez grounded out to shortstop to plate Lowe and give the Stone Crabs a 3-2 lead.
The Stone Crabs' lead proved to be short-lived. Polo led off the top of the fifth with a home run to tie the game at three. Jeff Hendrix followed with a single against Stone Crabs starter Eduar Lopez (6-6). Hendrix then advanced to third on a passed ball and flyout. The next batter was Solak, who lined a hit to right to bring in Hendrix and give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Two batters later, Tampa tacked on another run on an Angel Aguilar single to make it 5-3.
Lopez was charged with six runs on six hits over 4.1 innings. He struck out two and walked a season-high four.
In the top of the sixth, a walk and three singles extended the Yankees' lead to 7-3 before Sullivan and Boldt both walked with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Aguilar then committed a throwing error, allowing Sullivan to score and cut the Stone Crabs' deficit to 7-4.
However, that would be as close as Charlotte would get. The Yankees added a run in the eighth on Stone Crabs' reliever Michael Velasquez , who worked three solid innings.
The Stone Crabs will look to even the series Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.