PORT CHARLOTTE — Moises Gomez delivered a mammoth home run Friday as the Charlotte Stone Crabs notched their first shutout of the year in a 5-0 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads at Charlotte Sports Park.
With the Stone Crabs (13-15) leading 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Gomez launched a ball an estimated 453 feet off the top of the batter’s eye in dead center to extend the Charlotte lead to 5-0.
Gomez is 10-for-20 with five doubles, one home run, 8 RBI and five walks in his last six games, raising his OPS from .484 to .713 in less than a week.
Four Stone Crabs pitchers combined on a five-hit shutout. Tanner Dodson returned from the injured list and worked three scoreless innings before turning things over to Jhonleider Salinas (2-2). Salinas struck out four over three scoreless to earn the win.
Orlando Romero got five outs before Simon Rosenblum-Larson struck out the side in the ninth to seal his fourth save.
The Stone Crabs didn’t waste any time jumping on Marlins top prospect Sixto Sanchez (0-1). With two outs, Thomas Milone lined a hit to left before Gomez coaxed a walk.
The next batter was Ronaldo Hernandez, who rolled a single into center to score Milone and make it 1-0. Carl Chester then dropped a single into right to plate Gomez and extend the Charlotte lead to 2-0.
Milone reached base four times Friday and is now batting .378 with six extra-base hits and three stolen bases (1.017 OPS) in his first 11 games.
The Stone Crabs will look to claim the series at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Tobias Myers (0-1, 4.09) is scheduled to pitch against Will Stewart (1-1, 4.34) of the Hammerheads. Coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.