BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Marauders used a stellar pitching debut from Kyle Kaminska to best the Jupiter Hammerheads 4-1 on Friday night at McKechnie Field.
Kaminska faced the minimum through six innings in his first start of the season.
The win moves the Marauders into a tie for first place with St. Lucie in the second half standings.
Jupiter had beaten the Marauders in six straight tries coming into Friday's series opener. Kaminska, who was added Tuesday from double-A Altoona, stifled the Hammerheads and rehabbing Miami Marlins Emilio Bonifacio and Donnie Murphy. Bonifacio's walk with one out in the second inning was the only runner allowed by Kaminska, who struck out five. Bonifacio was caught stealing to end the first.
The Marauders opened the scoring, plating a run on a double steal with runners at the corners in the first. Andy Vasquez swiftly doubled the lead in the second with a solo home run with two outs. Vasquez has hit four home runs this season, all with the bases empty. Jupiter starter Chad James lasted only four innings because of a high pitch count. James walked three and struck out one.
In the fifth, Tyler Higgins replaced James and uncorked a wild pitch that scored Mel Rojas Jr. to make the score 3-0 in the Marauders' favor. Rojas Jr. finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Alex Dickerson went 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the eighth off Jordan Conley.
The Hammerheads got on the board and ruined the no-hit bid on the same play in the seventh. Quinton Miller walked Bonifacio, who then stole second. Mark Canha singled up the middle with two outs to get Jupiter their lone run.
Miller walked the first two Jupiter batters in the ninth to bring the tying run to the plate. Doug Salinas entered to earn his eighth save of the season and third in four nights. Salinas induced a fly out from Murphy then got league home runs leader Marcell Ozuna to ground into a game-ending double play.
The Mets' 6-5 loss against Charlotte tonight leaves the Marauders and St. Lucie tied atop the South Division. Jupiter remains a half game out of first.
Game two of the series with Jupiter is Saturday night at McKechnie Field. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. with gates opening at 5:30 p.m.