PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (August 25, 2017) - The Charlotte Stone Crabs used the long ball in Game 1 and an outstanding pitching performance from Michael Velasquez in Game 2 to sweep the St. Lucie Mets Thursday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs' (66-61, 35-24) two wins coupled with a Fort Myers loss pulls Charlotte to within three games of a postseason berth with 10 games remaining.
Velasquez (3-7) twirled six scoreless innings to earn the win in Game 2. He allowed just three hits while striking out five.
The Stone Crabs scored all four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Michael Brosseau singled to left before Ryan Boldt lined a base hit to center. After a Kevin Padlo walk loaded the bases with no one out, Brosseau raced home to score on a wild pitch to give Charlotte a 1-0 lead. David Olmedo-Barrera followed by lining a ball to left that was dropped by Mets (57-71, 24-36) outfielder Enmanuel Zabala. That allowed both runners to score and give the Stone Crabs a 3-0 lead. Nate Lowe then doubled to center to extend Charlotte's lead to 4-0.
In Game 1, the Stone Crabs clubbed a season-best three home runs and used a six-run bottom of the sixth to take the contest 10-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, a walk, hit batter and a Jonah Heim single loaded the bases. Brosseau then laced a single to left to score two. Boldt followed by doubling down the left field line to plate two more before Padlo clobbered a two-run homer to left to cap the scoring.
Charlotte kept pace with St. Lucie early thanks to home runs from Peter Maris and Brosseau.
Reece Karalus (4-0) went two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Blake Bivens worked four innings in his first start with Charlotte since May 19.
The Stone Crabs will now meet the team they are chasing, the Fort Myers Miracle, for three games starting at 7 p.m. on Friday. Coverage begins at 6:45 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.