Posted by Mack Ade at 5:00 AM
The St. Lucie Mets blanked the Palm Beach Cardinals 2-0 in a crucial game at Roger Dean Stadium.
With the win, the Mets climbed to within 0.5 games of Palm Beach and Bradenton for second place overall in the Florida State League South Division. If Fort Myers can win the division and the Mets surpass Palm Beach and Bradenton for second overall, they will qualify for the playoffs as a wildcard team.
Only three games remain for St. Lucie, Palm Beach and Bradenton. Fort Myers has four games left and is just 1.5 games out of first.
Luis Cessa pitched a gem for the Mets to lead them over the Cardinals. He tossed 6 2/3 innings and allowed just five hits. He walked one and struck out five.
Cessa has given up just one run in his last three starts which spans 18 2/3 innings.
Left-hander T.J. Chism got the final out of the seventh by striking out lefty Nick Martini with two runners on base. Chism retired lefty Jimmy Bosco to start the bottom of the eighth.
Robby Coles took over from there and got the last five outs. He pitched a clean ninth or his second save. He allowed just one batter to reach on a two-out walk in the eighth.
The Mets scored their only two runs in the sixth. Cardinals starter Silfredo Garcia issued a leadoff walk to Gavin Cecchini. L.J. Mazzilli followed with a single to left. Then on an 0-2 pitch, Cam Maron was able to pull a ground out to the right side to advance runners to second and third.
Jared King plated Cecchini with a sharp single to right. Mazzilli moved to third on the hit and scored on a sac fly by Phil Evans.
The 2-0 lead proved to be enough for Cessa, Chism and Coles. The trio did not allow any Cardinals to advance past second base in the game.
Garcia took the loss for the Cardinals. He gave up two runs in six innings.
With the loss, the Cardinals fell out of a first place tie with Bradenton. Bradenton scored three runs in the ninth inning of its game to beat the Charlotte Stone Crabs and take sole possession of first in the second half. - team press release