Clearwater capitalizes early, capsizes Daytona, 5-2
CLEARWATER, Fla. - RHP Mick Abel kept Daytona hitless through five frames, but the visitors would not quit. The Tortugas managed to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback, as the Clearwater Threshers captured a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at
CLEARWATER, Fla. - RHP Mick Abel kept Daytona hitless through five frames, but the visitors would not quit. The Tortugas managed to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth, but could not complete the comeback, as the Clearwater Threshers captured a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at BayCare Ballpark.
Clearwater (24-23) started the night hot, as CF Johan Rojas (1-2, R, 2B, RBI, BB) doubled down the right-field line with one out in the first. Following a line out to right, 1B Rixon Wingrove (1-4, 2B, RBI) slapped a grounder against the shift and down the line in left. Rojas scored on the two-base hit to give the Threshers an early lead, 1-0.
SS Luis García (1-3, R, 3B, BB) kept Clearwater’s offense chugging in the second, leading off the frame with a triple against the right-field fence. With one down, DH Edgar Madé (1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, SO) struck a single through the right-side to double the advantage to 2-0. RF Yhoswar García (1-4, RBI, BB, 3 SO) made it 3-0 with a run-scoring knock to left, two batters later.
After a walk, a stolen base, a wild pitch, and a passed ball allowed the Threshers to extend their cushion to 4-0 in the fifth, Daytona (20-27) finally picked up their first base knock, as Abel (5.0 IP, BB, 8 SO) finally was lifted after five hitless frames.
The first three batters against LHP Maikel Garrido (2.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 4 SO) singled to load the bases. Following a soft line out to right, RF Austin Hendrick (0-3, RBI, BB, 2 SO) drew a bases-loaded free pass to chase in the Tortugas first run, 4-1. A double play drew the inning to a close and kept Daytona’s deficit at three.
A bases-full hit-by-pitch of Rojas in the sixth enabled Clearwater to regain a four-run edge, but the ‘Tugas retaliated in the top of the seventh. DH Garrett Wolforth (1-4, R, 3 SO) led off with a single to extend his team-season-high on-base streak to 15. A two-base error on the play allowed him to reach third before scoring on a double to left by C Daniel Vellojín (1-4, 2B, RBI, SO).
LF Wendell Marrero (2-3, R, SO) singled two batters later to bring the tying run to the plate once more, but consecutive strikeouts halted the rally.
Still trailing 5-2 in the ninth, Daytona loaded the bases on a SS Ivan Johnson (0-3, BB, SO) walk, a plunking of Marrero, and a free pass to pinch-hitter Leo Seminati (0-0, BB). With the go-ahead run at the plate, LHP Erubiel Armenta (1.1 IP, 2 BB, 4 SO) dialed up a 93 mph fastball to record a strikeout to end the ballgame and seal the first save of his professional career.
Issuing a leadoff walk to 2B Brandon Leyton (0-4, BB, 2 SO) was the only misstep to Abel on Saturday. The 19-year-old retired the final 15 batters he faced and tied a career-best with eight strikeouts en route to his first professional victory.
Tortugas RHP James Marinan (4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 SO) retired seven-straight Threshers to conclude his night, but the Boynton Beach, Fla. native took his first loss of the season in his first start since August 5, 2018, with Low-A Dayton.
May’s Low-A Southeast Pitcher of the Month — RHP James Proctor (2-0, 1.65) — is expected to get the ball for Daytona in the finale, as they search for a series split. Clearwater projects to counter with RHP Victor Vargas (2-0, 3.45), who earned the save on Tuesday night. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 11:45 a.m. The first pitch is slated for 12:00 p.m.
Daytona will return home to open up their Independence Day Homestand on Tuesday, June 29, against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Low-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging, as Daytona players and coaches will don special pink-tinted uniforms to mark the occasion. Silver Sluggers Night — the best club in baseball for fans 60-and-over — presented by Conviva Cares Solutions will also be a part of the festivities. Fans can get in on deals at the concession stand with $2.50 Michelob Ultra draft beers.
Season tickets, 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 Low-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Low-A Southeast. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach. 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.