BRADENTON – The Mets (69-54, 28-25) scored the final five runs of Friday’s game at McKechnie Field, defeating the Marauders (68-56, 33-21) 10-7. The loss trims Bradenton’s lead in the South Division to half a game over the Palm Beach Cardinals. The Cardinals were rained out at Fort Myers.
The game featured five lead changes. St. Lucie struck early, plating a run in the first inning on L.J. Mazzilli’s solo home run off Chad Kuhl. Kuhl pitched six innings, surrendering six hits and two walks while striking out three. He allowed four runs, three earned.
Bradenton took advantage of two Mets errors in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. The Mets surged in front 4-2 with three runs in the fourth inning, but the Marauders answered in the home half of the inning. Jose Osuna launched a grand slam, his eighth home run of the season, off Mets starter Domingo Tapia to give Bradenton a 6-4 lead.
St. Lucie scored once against Ryan Hafner (L, 2-5) in the seventh, and the Marauders answered with a run of their own against Robert Coles (W, 2-0) in the home half of the inning. The Mets tagged Hafner for three runs in the eighth to take an 8-7 lead, then added a pair of insurance runs off Tyler Sample in the ninth.
Mets closer Paul Sewald (S, 9) stranded the tying run at second in the eighth, and after his team padded the lead he set down the Marauders in order in the ninth.
Game two of the series is Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. John Kuchno will start for the Marauders, while Luis Cessa goes to the hill for the Mets. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
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