Woodbine Racetrack Game Report: Leafs Use Long Ball and Bullpen to Beat Cardinals

by Ryan Eakin

HAMILTON - A full team effort.

The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Hamilton Cardinals 7-4 on Friday evening to improve to 17-12 on the season.

With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 6-22 and have now lost ten games in a row.

Toronto starter Marek Deska took a no-decision -- lasting only two batters after taking a line drive off the bat from Cardinals shortstop Luis Jean.

Deska was not the only one to leave the game with an injury on the play, as after the ball hit his hand, Maple Leafs third basemen Johnathan Soalzzo tried throwing Jean out at first base, only for Jean and Maple Leafs first basemen Jordan Castaldo to collide.

Jean left the game after being down on the ground for quite some time, while Castaldo left after the top of the fourth inning.

Maple Leafs reliever Dylan Jacober, who allowed one earned run on four hits and three walks in four innings of work in relief of Deska, picked up the win.

The former Ottawa Titan struck out at seven Hamilton batters.

Toronto reliever Chris Nagorski recorded the save.

Solazzo and Maple Leafs catcher-turned-first basemen Justin Marra led the way at the plate, hitting solo home runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning to extend the Leafs lead to 6-2.

Hamilton starter Adrian Salcedo took the loss after allowing six earned runs on ten hits and three walks in four innings of work.

TORONTO - 7-15-2

HAMILTON - 4-10-3

BIGGEST PLAY OF THE GAME: A tie between Marra's home run and Solazzo's, given the Leafs only scored one run in their last five innings of work. 

BY THE NUMBERS...

3. Between Salcedo, former Toronto Blue Jay Jose Fernandez (who made his IBL debut on the night), and Daury Torrez, the Cardinals used all three import pitchers on their roster in the game.

3. A pair of three-hit games for Maple Leafs second basemen Dan Marra and Maple Leafs left fielder Grant Tamane.

5. The Leafs managed to get through the game with five relievers, between Jacober, Zach Sloan, Ryan Wells, Franklin Hernandez, and Nagorski. Maple Leafs manager Damon Topolie was able to do so with ease, given the team had not played until Sunday.

22. The Leafs and Cardinals left a combined 22 runners left on base, highlighted by the Leafs not being able to score a run in the top of the first inning despite having the bases loaded and no one out, and the Cardinals being unable to score in the ninth inning, despite the tying run being at the plate.

LOOKING AHEAD...

The Leafs wrap up their weekend at home against the Guelph Royals on Sunday.

Photo: Craig Aikin 

Note: Pointstreak has three errors against the Leafs, with the third one coming in the bottom of the ninth inning after Dan Marra was unable to complete a double play. That is not an error, as a double play cannot be assumed.

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