The Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws scored four runs over the final two innings to claim a 6-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.
The win for the BlueClaws (35-36 overall, 1-2 second half) was the second straight in the five-game series and dealt the first lost of the season to the Crawdads (45-26, 1-2) when they led or were tied after seven innings. Hickory was 40-0 when leading after seven.
The Crawdads scored all of their runs during two-out rallies. In the first, Eduard Pinto singled and Jose Trevino doubled before Jonathan Meyer singled in both.
After Emmanuel Marrero cut it to 2-1 in the third with his first pro homer, Hickory added a run in the fourth when Jairo Beras walked with two outs and scored on Carlos Arroyo’s triple.
Lakewood made it 3-2 in the fifth. Cord Sandberg reached on a bloop single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a deep fly to right, and then scored when Joel Fisher lined a single to center.
The decisive rally came in the eighth against Crawdads reliever Joe Filomeno. With one out, Gustavo Martinez legged out an infield hit to short. Marrero sneaked a grounder just inside the bag at third for a double. Filomeno held runners at second and third when he struck out Drew Stankiewicz, but both scored as Scott Kingery ripped a double between third baseman Josh Morgan and the bag. Kingery then scored on Herlis Rodriguez’s double off the wall in right-center.
Lakewood’s final run in the ninth came when Kyle Martin homered to right against reliever Erik Swanson.
Brett Martin: Arguably his best start of the season. The homer he served up was a curveball down that Marrero went down to get. Threw 40 strikes out of 54 pitches, using mostly a fastball (89-92) –slider mix. He fanned two in the first – both on sliders – and two more in the second, one swinging on a slider, the other a fastball looking. Was definitely an outing to build upon.
Chris Dula: After giving runs in five straight outings and six out of seven, Dula kept the sinker (93-96) down for three groundballs – two for outs, the third an infield hit.
Jose Cardona: Went 2-for-4 with a double, lining a pair of fastballs for hits, including a 95 mph heater for a double.
Rock Shoulders: Went 0-4, but crushed the ball three times, only to see them die at the wall. Just not his night.
Josh Morgan: Had one hit – a dribbler up the middle in the fifth – but had two other hard hit liners that left fielder Cord Sandberg snagged. Like Rock Shoulders…
Joe Filomeno: Given the first chance to close out a tight game after the bullpen rearrangement, he had a tough night. Fastball was lively sitting around 93, but breaking balls were not close enough to the plate to entice swings, or sharp enough to miss bats when swung at. Kingery and Rodriguez both sat on first-pitch fastballs for back-to-back doubles that accounted for three runs. He struck out two in the inning, but needed eight pitches each to do so.
Late innings slump: Put only three runners aboard over the final four innings. Had only one runner in the same span in the previous game.
Kyle Martin: The Phillies fourth-round 2015 pick out of South Carolina hit his first pro homer in the ninth.
Manny Martinez: After Cardona slammed a fastball off the wall in the seventh, Martinez went predominantly to his curve to retire Michael De Leon on a grounder to first and Morgan on a popup to first.
Austin Smith: The left-handed reliever threw an explosive mid-90s fastball to strike out two, the second against Jairo Beras, who froze on a 91 mph heater on the inside corner.