The Charlotte Stone Crabs (4-5, 35-42) couldn't contain the Palm Beach Cardinals' (6-3, 47-30) potent offense on a hot Sunday afternoon at Charlotte Sports Park, falling by a final score of 8-1.
Palm Beach didn't waste any time getting started as the the first three hitters reached base with singles. Austin Wilsondrove in the Cardinals' first run and another run scored as Chris Chinea grounded out into a double play one batter later, making it a 2-0 game. Shane Billings and Luke Dykstra both hit singles to lead off the top of the second inning. Leobaldo Pina bunted the runners over and Billings scored on an Austin Wilson groundout, extending the Cardinals' lead to 3-0.
Stone Crabs' starter Eduar Lopez settled in nicely after the first two innings, holding Palm Beach scoreless over his next three innings of work. Charlotte got on the board in the fourth as David Olmedo-Barrera scored on an error by Cardinals shortstop Darren Seferina, cutting the deficit to two.
The Cardinals tagged Charlotte right-hander Brandon Lawson for four runs though, pulling away for good from the Stone Crabs. Jose Godoy hit an RBI-double in the sixth and a Leobaldo Pina groundout plated a run as well, giving Palm Beach a 5-1 lead. Thomas Spitz and Darren Seferina hit back-to-back solo home runs in the seventh, putting the Cardinals ahead by six, 7-1. Pina hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth as the Cards tacked on their eighth run of the afternoon to seal the victory.
For the 'Crabs, starter Eduar Lopez allowed three runs on nine hits over five innings on the mound, walking four and fanning two. He recovered after alloweing three runs in the first two innings. Meanwhile, Palm Beach's Derien Gonzalez hurled six innings, giving up an unearned run on six hits, walking two and striking out four.
At the plate for the Stone Crabs, catcher Brett Sullivan had another strong day, going 2-for-4 to bump his average up to .314 this season. Rays second baseman Brad Miller started at second base and went 1-for-4, hitting his third double in the last two days for the Stone Crabs.
Thomas Spitz went 3-for-4 with a homer, two runs scored and an RBI for Palm Beach while Shane Billings had four hits in five at-bats, doubling twice and scoring two runs. Darren Seferina finished the afternoon with two hits, including a home run, two walks and two RBIs.
The Stone Crabs and Cardinals conclude their series on Monday, July 3 at 6:05 p.m. with gates opening at 4:00 p.m. At 4:30, a helicopter will drop over 100lbs of candy in the outfield for kids 14 & under. Following the final out of Monday's game, we'll light up the skies above Charlotte Sports Park with the Biggest Fireworks Show Of The Season! To purchase tickets, visit StoneCrabsBaseball.com.
Taking the mound on Monday for Charlotte will be right-hander Tyler Brashears (2-1, 5.31). Palm Beach has not announced their starter.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.