Monday, May 3, 2010

Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, St. Lucie Mets 3

[Via email from Grant McAuley, Stone Crabs Broadcaster.]

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – A wild fifth inning gave the Charlotte Stone Crabs all the offense they would need to grab a 6-3 victory over the St. Lucie Mets on Monday at Digital Domain Park.

For the second time in three days, Charlotte put together a five-run inning, and it came with some help from the Mets. This time it was in support of Frank De Los Santos, who threw seven strong innings to win his fourth consecutive start to open the year.

De Los Santos (4-0) allowed just two earned runs over seven frames, striking out nine Mets batters. The nine strikeouts are the most in a game by a Stone Crabs pitcher this season. In winning his fourth decision, De Los Santos matches his win total from all of last season in 27 starts with Bowling Green.

Neil Schenk came out of the pen to notch five strikeouts over two innings, giving the club 14 punch-outs on the night to set single game high for 2010. That total fell three shy of highest game total in club history, 17 strikeouts set against Lakeland June 18th of last year.

Jake Jefferies two-run triple highlighted the five-run fifth inning that brought the Stone Crabs back from a brief 2-1 deficit. It’s the second time in three days that the Stone Crabs have scored five runs in a single frame.

Mets right fielder Emmanuel Garcia misplayed Reid Fronk’s inning-opening fly ball to right center, losing it in the twilight which resulted in a lead-off triple. The Stone Crabs capitalized immediately as Matt Hall stroked a run-scoring single to tie the game 2-2.

It seemed as though Mets starter Kyle Allen (0-2) was going to find his way out of the inning and preserve the tie until things came complete unraveled for the St. Lucie.

After picking up two quick outs following Hall’s single, Henry Wrigley sent a shallow fly ball down the line in right field that could not be caught by a diving Reese Havens. A poor throw to the plate allowed Hall to score from first as Wrigley coasted into third.

That play led to the ejection of Mets manager Edgar Alfonso, who argued that the ball had landed in foul territory. Jefferies followed two batters later with his two-run triple and was chased home on a run-scoring single by Shawn Williams to cap the scoring and give the Stone Crabs a 6-2 lead.

Allen dropped his second straight decision to the Stone Crabs, surrendering six runs – all earned – on six hits and four walks. The Mets (9-15) have now lost five times in their last six games.

Monday’s game marked the third consecutive win for Stone Crabs (14-9) who take over second place in the Florida State League South Division. They trail the Palm Beach Cardinals by one game.

The series continues tomorrow with a rare morning contest. Chris Andujar (1-1) will take the mound against Eric Beaulac (0-1) of St. Lucie. Game time is set for 10:30 a.m.

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