PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (August 31, 2017) - Michael Velasquez tied a career high with seven innings Thursday, leading the Charlotte Stone Crabs to an 8-2 win over the Bradenton Marauders at Charlotte Sports Park.
With the win and a Fort Myers Miracle loss, the Stone Crabs (69-63, 38-26) move to two games back of forcing a winner-take-all Labor Day doubleheader with the Miracle.
Velasquez (4-7) struck out four while scattering seven hits to keep the Marauders (67-62, 30-32) at bay.
Velasquez surrendered solo home runs in the second and third before Charlotte plated eight unanswered runs.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Stone Crabs second baseman Riley Unroe tripled down the right field line before Jonah Heim drove him home on a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 2-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, Peter Maris walked before a throwing error moved the runner to second. After a Nate Lowe walk, Thomas Milone pulled a single to right to tie the game at two. The next batter was Angel Moreno , who flaired a base hit over second base to give Charlotte a 3-2 lead.
Still up one in the bottom of the fifth, Lucius Fox was hit by a pitch before Maris singled him to second. David Olmedo-Barrera followed by blasting a double to the wall in right, scoring both runners to make the tally 5-2.
Up by that margin in the eighth, the Stone Crabs loaded the bases for Heim, who clubbed a bases clearing double to right to cap the scoring at 8-2.
Charlotte finished the night 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position, scoring all eight of their runs with two outs.
The Stone Crabs look to keep the pressure on Fort Myers Friday as they finish their 2017 home slate against Bradenton at 6:35 p.m. Michael Santos (4-2, 4.43) makes the start for Charlotte against James Marvel (0-0, 2.00) of Bradenton. 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.