BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Marauders split the weekend with the Charlotte Stone Crabs, winning Saturday, then dropping a game to the Rays' affiliate on Sunday. Bradenton flexed their home run muscles Saturday night at McKechnie Field to dispatch Charlotte 5-4 on Stetson Allie’s first home run since joining the team. Willy Garcia smashed his team-leading 13th for the Marauders as well. On Sunday, the Marauders came up short in their attempt to erase a 7-0 deficit, falling 9-6.
The home runs for Bradenton on Saturday night bookended the game, with Garcia opening the scoring with a two-run bomb in the first, and Allie ending it with his solo smash to center field leading off the ninth. The big performance from the Marauders power bats helped the team snap a five-game losing streak and climb within three games of first in the second half standings.
Allie’s home run was hit on a 1-1 pitch from Nate Garcia (L, 1-3). Allie smoked the ball on a high drive to center, easily clearing the wall to the left of the 400-foot marker. The homer is Allie’s 18th overall this season between West Virginia and Bradenton.
Garcia launched his two-run shot to left off Charlotte starter Ryan Carpenter in the first. Carpenter also surrendered an unearned run in the second on his own throwing error to put the Marauders up 3-0.
Zack Dodson cruised through the first five innings for Bradenton, but ran into trouble in the sixth. Four straight two-out hits allowed the Stone Crabs to rally for a 4-3 lead and knock Dodson from the game after 5 2/3 innings. Pat Ludwig and Ryan Beckman (W, 2-0) combined to hold the Stone Crabs off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Beckman worked around a leadoff triple by Kes Carter in the ninth.
Garcia came through for Bradenton against Eliazer Suero in the sixth. With the bases loaded and two outs, Garcia singled to left for his third hit of the game. The tying run scored, but Elias Diaz was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
The Marauders and Stone Crabs meet again Sunday at 5:00 p.m. Emmanuel De Leon will make his first start of the season for the Marauders. De Leon has a 2-0 record and a 3.82 ERA in 16 relief appearances this season.
The Marauders (32-52, 6-10) came up short in their attempt to erase a 7-0 deficit, falling 9-6 to the Stone Crabs (39-45, 10-7) on Sunday night at McKechnie Field. Alen Hanson had two hits and two runs scored in his return from the disabled list.
The Stone Crabs sprinted out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first, utilizing three Marauders errors to plate five unearned runs. Emmanuel De Leon (L, 2-1) took the defeat in his first start of the season.
Robby Rowland kept the Marauders in the game, pitching six innings out of the bullpen. Rowland took over in the second inning and allowed two runs on three hits while walking just two. Jeff Malm’s solo home run in the third was the only earned run Rowland allowed.
Felipe Rivero (W, 6-5) dominated the Bradenton lineup through the first five innings, facing two over the minimum. The Marauders tagged him for three runs in the sixth, chasing the lefty with two away in the inning. Rivero struck out nine and walked three.
Lenny Linsky picked up the final out of the sixth and began the seventh for the Stone Crabs on the mound. Three hits, the last an RBI double by Dan Gamache, cut the lead to 7-5 and sent Linsky to the showers with two away in the inning. Andrew Bellati recorded the final seven outs for the save.
The Marauders went in order against Bellati in the eighth. Trailing 9-5 in the ninth after Alejandro Segovia doubled in two runs off Joan Montero in the top half of the inning, the Marauders could only plate one before Gamache grounded out to end it.
Gamache finished 3-for-5 with his 23rd double and 34th RBI. Jacob Stallings was 2-for-3 with a double.
The series finale between the Marauders and Stone Crabs is Monday at 6:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. Joely Rodriguez makes his fourth start of the season for the Marauders. Roberto Gomez is on the hill for Charlotte.
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