A big fourth inning by the visiting Bradenton Marauders proved too much to overcome as the Stone Crabs dropped the season opener to the Marauders 8-4 on Thursday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
Bradenton jumped out to an early lead in the second inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes singled to right and later scored on an RBI double by Casey Hughston to give the Marauders a 1-0 lead.
The Stone Crabs answered with a pair of runs in the third inning to grab the lead. Brandon Lowe reached on an error to lead off the inning. Lowe advanced to third following a double by Jake Cronenworth. The first run of the inning came on a ground out by Rays rehabber Colby Rasmus that drove home Lowe. Cronenworth later scored on a sac fly by Brett Sullivan to give the Stone Crabs a 2-1 lead.
It was the top of the fourth inning that would spoil the Stone Crabs home opener. The Marauders pushed across five runs of Stone Crabs starter Genesis Cabrera to take a 6-2 lead.
The Stone Crabs inched closer by scoring another pair of runs in the fifth inning. Once again it was the Lowe-Cronenworth-Sullivan connections getting it done. Lowe and Cronenworth got things started with back to back singled. Then Sullivan delivered a triple to center to score both runners and pull within two from the lead.
But the Marauders got back to back one run innings in the seventh and eighth to extend the lead back out to four runs and hand the Stone Crabs the 8-4 loss.
Cabrera was charged with the loss for the Stone Crabs. Yunior Montero was the winning pitcher for Bradenton.
The series continues on Friday night at Charlotte Sports Park. Blake Bivens will get the ball for the Stone Crabs opposite Pedro Vasquez for Bradenton. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35.
- Jake Cronenworth (SS): 3 for 5 with a double and 2 runs scored
- Colby Rasmus (LF): 0 for 3
- Nathan Lukes (PH-RF): 1 for 2
- Brett Sullivan (DH): 1 for 3 with a triple and 3 RBI’s
- Kevin Padlo (3B): 0 for 4
- Dalton Kelly (1B): 0 for 2 with 2 walks
- David Rodriguez (C): 0 for 4
- Ryan Boldt (CF): 1 for 4
- David Olmedo-Barrera (RF-CF): 1 for 4
- Brandon Lowe (2B): 1 for 4 with 2 runs scored
- Genesis Cabrera (Loss, 0-1): 6 runs on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings
- Yoel Espinal: 1 1/3 no-hit inning
- Reece Karalus: 2 runs on 5 hits with 3 strikeouts in 3 innings
- Michael Santos: 1 no-hit inning with 1 strikeout and 1 walk