Three-run eighth sends St. Lucie over Daytona, 4-2
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — DH Hayden Jones continued his recent tear with a two-run home run, while RHP José Acuña yielded just one unearned run over five innings in his organizational debut for Daytona. However, St. Lucie scored three unearned runs in the eighth, as the Mets defeated the
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — DH Hayden Jones continued his recent tear with a two-run home run, while RHP José Acuña yielded just one unearned run over five innings in his organizational debut for Daytona. However, St. Lucie scored three unearned runs in the eighth, as the Mets defeated the Tortugas, 4-2, on Tuesday night at Clover Park.
Scoreless through three, Daytona (9-20, 38-56) broke through against the St. Lucie (16-15, 56-40) bullpen in the top of the fourth. After CF Jay Allen II (0-2, R, 2 BB, SO) reached one a five-pitch walk, Jones (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO) blasted the first pitch he saw over the fence in left-center field for a two-run home run. The Huntertown, Ind. native's seventh shot of the season provided the Tortugas a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, St. Lucie finally mustered a rally against Acuña (5.0 IP, 4 H, R, 6 SO) when 2B Warren Saunders (2-4, R, 2B) started the frame with a double down the left-field line. After a fly ball to right, 1B-LF Raúl Beracierta (2-2) hit a soft ground ball in the hole at short. The throw to first was in the dirt and kicked out of play, allowing a run to score and Beracierta to take second, pulling the Mets within one, 2-1.
Acuña made sure the lead stayed intact with just one out in the inning. Against his former teammates, the 19-year-old produced a foul pop-up to third and a swinging strikeout to Daytona in front after five.
The contest remained a one-run affair until the eighth inning. A two-base error in the outfield started the frame, but a fly out to left and a pop fly to short put the Tortugas on the precipice of escaping trouble.
With two out, CF Omar De Los Santos (1-4, R, RBI, SO) hit a weak roller to short. The speedy outfielder was too quick to retire at first, as the throw to the bag was late. The runner from third scored on the infield knock to tie the game at two.
De Los Santos would promptly swipe second base and scoot to third on a wild pitch. RF-LF Carlos Domínguez (2-4, R, 2B, RBI, SO) scalded a double into the left-field corner to chase him in, giving St. Lucie a 3-2 edge.
Following a lined single off the back of the pitcher by Saunders, DH Justin Guerrera (1-4, RBI, 2 SO) poked a run-producing single into left to increase the Mets' advantage to a pair.
RHP Benito García (2.0 IP, H, 4 SO) — who yielded a leadoff double to RF Ashton Creal (1-4, 2B) in the eighth — stayed on for St. Lucie in the ninth and retired the side in order to secure St. Lucie's win and his second triumph of the year.
Neither starter received a decision on Tuesday. Acuña (5.0 IP, 4 H, R, 6 SO) tied a career-best with five innings of work in his Tortugas and Reds' organization debut. RHP Harol González (3.0 IP, H, BB) hurled three shutout innings in his first rehab start and second appearance with the Mets.
RHP Julian Aguiar (3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 SO) — despite not allowing an earned run — was charged with his first blown save and sixth defeat out of the bullpen for Daytona.
The Tortugas will try to snap their nine-game road losing streak to St. Lucie on Wednesday. RHP Javi Rivera (2-3, 2.88) — the Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for June — is scheduled to make the start for Daytona. St. Lucie is scheduled to counter with the Mets' No. 6 prospect per Baseball America, RHP Calvin Ziegler (0-3, 3.57). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 5:55 p.m. leading up to the 6:10 p.m. first pitch from Clover Park.
The Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, August 9, to open up a two-week homestand with six games against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Florida State League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The series opens with another Shell Yeah Cookout. The $15 add-on includes the full “Bases Loaded” menu during a 90-minute buffet with hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork, baked beans, cookies, Pepsi products, and more. It is also a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don unique pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Silver Sluggers Night presented by Conviva is a part of the festivities. The exclusive 60-and-older club features deals at the team store, concession stands for members, and more. The series opener also marks a Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.