The Game: The Charlotte Stone Crabs defeated the Palm Beach Cardinals 3-2 in game one of Sunday’s doubleheader at Charlotte Sports Park. The game was delayed for a brief time in the first inning as home plate umpire Matt Cunningham was injured after a pitch from Jake McGee sailed wild and hit him in the arm. AJ Johnson moved behind the plate and Stephen Vogt, who is currently in the DL, worked the bases.
The Stone Crabs scored first in the home half of the first inning. Shawn O’Malley was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Ryan Royster followed with a single to right, advancing O’Malley to third. John Matulia then delivered a two run triple to right, giving the Stone Crabs a 2-0 lead.
Palm Beach cut the lead in half in the second inning. Alex Castellanos doubled to center to get things started for the Cardinals. Francisco Rivera then singled home Castellanos to move the Cardinals to within one run.
The Stone Crabs added an insurance run in the third. Shawn O’Malley singled to right followed by a single by Drew Anderson. Ryan Royster then grounded into a double play, but O’Malley was able to score and increase the Stone Crabs lead to 3-1.
The Cardinals added an additional run in the seventh when Osvaldo Morales doubled to lead off the inning. Morales then advanced to third when Austin Hinkle’s pickoff throw sailed into center. Francisco Rivera then hit a sacrifice fly to score Morales and once again pull Palm Beach to within one. Hinkle collected himself and recorded the third out of the inning to give the Stone Crabs a 3-2 victory.
After a rough outing his last time out, Jake McGee turned in a better performance on the mound, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Tommy Rafferty followed with 1 1/3 innings of no hit baseball in recording the win. Chad Bradford appeared in a 1 inning rehab assignment, only allowing 1 hit. Austin Hinkle came on for the save, pitching 3 innings and allowing 1 run on 2 hits with a strikeout. Richard Castillo was the losing pitcher for Palm Beach.
What Went Right: John Matulia; 1 for 3 with a triple and 2 RBI’s.
What Went Wrong: Fernando Perez; 0 for 3 in his rehab appearance.
A Look Ahead: The Stone Crabs and Cardinals face off in game two of the doubleheader. Brian Flores (0-5) will start for the Stone Crabs against Jaime Garcia (0-0).