Manatees Drop Opener To St. Lucie Mets

By  //  July 16, 2012

Gagnon Gets Start Tonight

PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA – One of the hottest pitchers in the Florida State League dropped his second straight game Sunday as the Brevard County Manatees were beaten 7-3 in Sunday’s series opener against the St. Lucie Mets at Digital Domain Park.

Brevard County pitcher Andy Moye dropped his second straight game on Sunday after starting the season 7-0. (Image courtesy Brevard County Manatees)

After starting the season 7-0 between Wisconsin and Brevard County, Manatees starting pitcher Andy Moye (4-2, 5.36) was defeated for the second straight time. Moye allowed a season-high seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in just 4.1 innings of work.

Moye and the ‘Tees (12-11 second half, 41-50 overall) fell in a hole early as St. Lucie’s Cory Vaughn started the scoring off in the first with a RBI double. The Mets plated two more in the second thanks to a two-out double from Mike Baxter, who was on a Major League rehab stint from New York.

St. Lucie (11-13, 60-32) put the game out of reach with four runs in the fifth inning. Moye hit Baxter with a pitch to lead off the inning and then Baxter went to third on a single by Vaughn. A throwing error by Moye on a pickoff attempt to first allowed Baxter to score and Vaughn to reach third as the Mets took a 4-0 lead.

After walking Blake Forsythe, Moye allowed a two-run double to Richard Lucas which effectively ended his outing. Eric Arnett relieved Moye and walked two batters before allowing Lucas to score on a RBI single as the Manatees fell behind 7-0.

Other than a home run by Brock Kjeldgaard to lead off the seventh inning, Brevard was held in check by St. Lucie starter Tyler Pill. The Manatees managed just four hits and struck out seven times against Pill.

Brevard County made the game interesting in the top of the ninth against reliever Jeffrey Walters. Mike Walker walked to lead off the inning and the Kjeldgaard reached base on an error. Hector Gomez then walked to load the bases with no outs.

Walters was able to get Cody Hawn to fly out to right and then Joey Paciorek flew out to center as his fly was able to plate Walker as Brevard was now down 7-2. Shea Vucinich then singled to left to plate Kjeldgaard to make it a 7-3 game with two on and two outs.

St. Lucie brought in Taylor Whitenton to put out the fire and he did as Reggie Keen flew out to center to end the game.

Drew Gagnon (0-0, 2.41) will toe the rubber for the ‘Tees on Monday at 6:30 p.m. against the Mets. All three of Gagnon’s starts with Brevard thus far have been quality starts, but he is still seeking his first win as a Manatee.

St. Lucie will counter Yohan Almonte (7-4, 6.08). Almonte has a 7.78 ERA at home this season and is 1-3 with a 13.50 ERA in four second half starts.