The Stone Crabs came out swinging in the first inning. The first four hitters of the game each tagged starter Littrell for a base hit. Braxton Lee led off the frame with a single up the middle. Lee advanced to third when Rays rehabber Steven Souza hit a line drive to right, but was thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double. The Stone Crabs took the lead on a single by Mike Marjama, scoring Lee and give the Stone Crabs a 1-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs offense picked up right where they left off, leading off the second with back to back singles by Granden Goetzman and Justin Williams. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a sac bunt by Pat Blair. Goetzman then scored on a sac fly by Lee to take a 2-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs added another run in the third. Gillaspie double to center to put a runner on the bases. He later scored on an RBI single by Kean Wong to make it 3-0.
After retiring the first nine hitters faced, Honeywell surrendered a single to Casey Turgeon to lead off the fourth inning. Turgeon would get erased from the bases following a force out by Collin Radack. Radack later scored on a double by Mason Katz to make it 3-1.
The Stone Crabs got the run back in the top of the fifth. Souza Jr led off the inning with single to short. He then moved into scoring position after stealing second. Hector Guevara drove him home with a single to left to give the Stone Crabs a 4-1 lead.
The Stone Crabs added another run in the sixth. Goetzman led off the inning with a double to right. He didn’t stay there long as Williams hits a line drive to center, scoring Goetzman and extending the lead to 5-1.
The Stone Crabs broke the game open in the eighth inning when they sent ten players to the plate to push across six runs. Four hits and three walks helped account for the damage with Blair, Lee, Marjama, Gillaspie and Hector Guevara picked up RBI’s to give the Stone Crabs an 11-1 lead.
The Stone Crabs weren’t done as they tacked on three more in the ninth on a towering three run homer by Souza Jr to give the Stone Crabs the 14-1 margin of victory.
Honeywell was dominating on the mound, striking out six in seven innings to earn the win. The bullpen combination of Steve Ascher and Josh Kimborowicz each chipped in a scoreless inning of relief to ensure the win.
Littrell was the losing pitcher for the Cardinals.
The Stone Crabs have a chance to clinch the division as the best-of-three series shifts to Charlotte Sports Park for game two on Wednesday night. German Marquez (7-13, 3.56) will get the ball for the Stone Crabs opposite Luke Weaver (8-5, 1.62) for Palm Beach.