The first place Charlotte Stone Crabs exploded for five runs in the sixth inning and defeated the St. Lucie Mets 5-2 at Charlotte Sports Park.
The Stone Crabs (20-10) took all three games in the series and handed the Mets their fifth straight loss. The Mets (13-17) are now seven games out of first place with 40 games left in the Florida State League’s first half.
Starting pitchers Jacob Faria of the Stone Crabs and Kevin McGowan traded zeroes through the first five innings. Finally the Crabs broke through in the sixth thanks to a Mets’ mistake and a clutch hit.
With one out, Juniel Querecuto doubled down the first base line. Keon Wong then grounded a ball to first baseman Dominic Smith, but McGowan did not cover the bag in time and runners were at the corners with one out. After a walk loaded the bases, Jake Bauers hit a sac fly to left to put the Crabs up 1-0.
Marty Gantt drew a walk to reload the bases and Granden Goetzman delivered the big blow with a two-out double to left field that scored three runs and made it 4-0. Mike Marjama provided one more run with single up the middle to plate Goetzman.
The Mets offense took until the eighth inning for the second straight night to produce a run. Adrian Abreu led off with a single and Yeixon Ruiz followed with a double, his fourth hit of the game, to put runners at second and third. Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto drove in the runs with a ground out and sac fly to make it 5-2.
In the series, the Mets only scored runs in three of the 27 innings they came to bat.
Stone Crabs starter Jacob Faria blanked the Mets over seven innings. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out seven to improve to 5-1 in his six starts. He lowered his ERA to 1.60.
McGowan held the Crabs off the board through 5.1 innings but ended up allowing five runs, all earned.
Ruiz collected four of the six hits for the Mets. He became the second Met this season to have a four-hit game (Miakis De La Cruz). For the second time in the series, the Mets outhit the Stone Crabs (6-5). Team press release