CLEARWATER -- The Marauders (14-23) blasted a season-high six extra base hits on Monday night, powering past the Clearwater Threshers (19-17) 5-3 at Bright House Field. Jeff Karstens made a rehab start for the Marauders, pitching three innings on 42 pitches, striking out four and allowing only one run.
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Trailing 1-0 in the second innings, the Marauders hit consecutive two-out doubles to a knot the game. Willy Garcia and Jacob Stallings each doubled off Hoby Milner as the lefty was in the midst of striking out the side. Milner pitched five innings and struck out seven, but didn’t factor in the decision.
The Marauders went on top in the third. Carlos Mesa led off against Milner with his third homer run of the season to give Bradenton a 2-1 lead. Karstens completed his outing with the lead intact.
In the fourth and fifth the teams traded tallies. Clearwater’s first three batters against Adrian Sampson (W, 1-0) hit safely to tie the game 2-2 in the fourth. The Marauders went back on top in the fifth. Taylor Lewis stole home on a pickoff throw to first base by Milner to make it 3-2 Bradenton. Sampson surrendered a mammoth solo shot to Kelly Dugan in the bottom of the inning, tying the score 3-3.
The score remained tied until the eighth. Benji Gonzalez doubled to lead off the inning against Luis Paulino (L, 0-3), his second double of the game. A wild pitch moved Gonzalez over, and two outs later another wild pitch allowed him to score. An RBI-triple by Willy Garcia following a Dan Gamache single created the final margin.
Joan Montero pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save of the season.
Game two of the series is Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. Perci Garner for Clearwater and Nick Kingham for Bradenton square off on the mound. Garner is 3-0, while Kingham has won four straight starts. The game will be broadcast on www.BradentonMarauders.com.
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