BRADENTON -- Jeff Locke’s (L, 0-1) dominant performance wasn’t enough to extend the Marauders’ (4-2) winning streak to five games as the Palm Beach Cardinals (4-2) snagged a 3-1 win on Wednesday night at McKechnie Field. Locke pitched six innings and struck out 10. The 2013 National League All Star surrendered two runs on five hits and walked one. He threw 82 pitches, 59 for strikes. Two of the hits against Locke were bunt singles.
David Washington hit a solo home run against Locke in the second inning. The Cardinals tallied again in the sixth, using a bunt single from Breyvic Valera and a double by Jacob Wilson to plate a second run. The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead on a two-out error in the seventh with Thomas Harlan on the mound for Bradenton.
Marco Gonzales (W, 1-0) stifled the Marauders, holding Bradenton to three hits while striking out seven over five innings. Aidan Lucas tallied two scoreless frames on the mound for the Cardinals. Dixon Llorens pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but allowed the Marauders to load the bases with one out in the ninth. Iden Nazario entered and earned his first save, surviving a long drive to left by Max Moroff that went as a sacrifice fly.
Josh Bell went 2-for-4 with a double for the Marauders.
The rubber game of the series is Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Chad Kuhl will pitch for the Marauders. The game is the first of 13 Thirsty Thursdays presented by Budweiser and Ticket Sarasota at McKechnie Field this season.
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