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04/07/2008 11:11 PM ET
Strieby, Flying Tigers slam Threshers
Eighth-inning grand slam gives Lakeland victory over Clearwater
Ryan Strieby hit 16 homers in '07 in the Midwest League, fourth-best in the league. (Emily Smith/


Ryan Strieby played both big and small ball in leading the Lakeland Flying Tigers to a 6-5 win over the visiting Clearwater Threshers in Monday's completion of a suspended game.

The 22-year-old designated hitter went big in the bottom of the eighth inning with a grand slam to erase a 3-2 deficit and put the Flying Tigers ahead for good.

In the Flying Tigers' decisive inning, Justin Justice and Scott Sizemore walked and James Skelton reached when third baseman Welinson Baez misplayed his bunt, loading the bases. Strieby promptly followed with his longball to center, his second of the year.

Strieby, who had 16 homers and 76 RBIs last year for Class A West Michigan in the Midwest League, also delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth to tie the contest, 2-2.

Justice and Sizemore chipped in two hits apiece for Lakeland (3-1).

Nicholas Martin (1-0), who came in to record the final out in the top of the eighth with men on second and third, picked up the win. Ed Clelland got the game's final two outs for his first save.

Lakeland starter Matt O'Brien went just one inning, allowing two unearned runs on two hits, striking out one without allowing a walk.

Adrian Cardenas went 4-for-5 with two runs scored for the Threshers (1-3).

Andy Cruse (0-2) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on one hit, striking out one and walking two in taking the loss.

Alan Friedman is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.