LAKELAND, Fla. (April 14, 2018) - The Charlotte Stone Crabs clubbed seven extra-base hits and got four scoreless innings of relief to beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers 7-4 Saturday night at Publix Field.
The Stone Crabs (3-7) bats came out hot from the first pitch Saturday. Lucius Fox drew a walk against Flying Tigers (4-6) starter Tom de Blok (0-2) before immediately stealing second. After a Josh Lowe single moved Fox to third, Robbie Tenerowicz drove home Fox with a sacrifice fly to center.
Still leading 1-0 in the second, Charlotte right fielder Jesus Sanchez drove a ground rule double to center. After the next two batters were retired, David Olmedo-Barrera pulled a double off the wall in right to score Sanchez and give the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead. Fox followed with a line drive single to right center to chase home Olmedo-Barrera and extend the lead to 3-0. The next batter was Lowe, who clobbered a two-run homer to right to push the Stone Crabs' lead to 5-0.
Charlotte added another run in the third on a Sanchez solo home run to right.
With the Stone Crabs still up 5-0 in the top of the sixth, Tristan Gray shot a double to the wall in right center. Three batters later, Fox pulled a double into the left field corner to plate Gray and make it 7-0.
But the Flying Tigers fought back in the bottom of the inning against Stone Crabs starter Willy Ortiz (1-0). After Ortiz walked Daz Cameron to start the inning, Isaac Paredes doubled to left to score Cameron and make it 7-1. Blaise Salter followed with an opposite field double to right center to plate Paredes and make the score 7-2. The next batter was Anthony Pereira, who banged a triple off the left field wall to bring in Salter to make it 7-3. After a pitching change, Andres Sthormes grounded out to third, scoring Pereira to cap the inning at 7-4.
From there, the Charlotte bullpen took over. Roel Ramirez retired all nine batters he saw, striking out three to keep the game at 7-4. Spencer Jones allowed two singles in the ninth but earned his second save with a scoreless inning of work.
Saturday marked the Stone Crabs' first road win of the year after starting a franchise-worst 0-7 away from Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs will go for the series win Sunday night at 1 p.m. J.D. Busfield (0-1, 2.80) takes the ball for Charlotte against Alfred Gutierrez (0-0, 3.86) of Lakeland. Coverage begins at 12:45 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.