BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Marauders (17-26) hammered the St. Lucie Mets (24-17) 8-1 on Sunday afternoon, taking the series from their South Division foe two games to one at McKechnie Field. Elias Diaz punctuated the win with his first homer of the season, a two-out grand slam in the eighth inning.
After a 10-0 loss on Saturday, the Marauders got on the board early on Sunday. With Gregory Polanco on third and Jose Osuna at first, Bradenton executed a double steal to plate the first run of the game. Polanco reached by walking against Hansel Robles (L, 3-2). Robles walked two more batters in the second innings, and Alen Hanson doubled both home to run the score to 3-0.
Osuna had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk. He crushed a solo home run in the fourth inning to put the Marauders on top 4-0.
Nick Kingham (W, 5-2) returned to form, dominating on the mound for seven innings. The Mets only put runners on in three innings, and plated their only run with three consecutive hits in the sixth. Kingham struck out nine and surrendered only four hits. He retired 14 Mets in a row after hitting Aderlin Rodriguez with a pitch in the first inning.
Never miss a local story.
Carlos Vazquez held the Marauders off the board from the fifth until the eighth, when he was replaced by Wanel Mesa. Mesa walked the bases loaded in front of Diaz, who hammered the first pitch to straightaway center.
Robbie Kilcrease entered with the score 4-1 in the eighth and recorded six outs for his first save of the season.
The Marauders open a four game series on Monday night against the Tampa Yankees at McKechnie Field. First pitch is a 6:30 p.m., with gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Eliecer Navarro will start on the mound for Bradenton.