The Threshers did not register a hit until the seventh inning, when Jim Murphy's homer to left broke up the Daytona no-hit bid. With the loss, Clearwater drops to 0-2 in the second half of the season.
Adam Morgan took the mound for the Threshers on Friday, his first start since June 6th after hitting the disabled list with a minor injury. After retiring the first two batters he faced, he allowed a single which set the stage for a two-run homer by Cubs bopper Greg Rohan.
The Cubs went back to work off Morgan in the fifth, using two hits and an error to plate another run before Threshers manager Chris Trubly opted to insert new lefty Jay Johnson on the hill. Johnson allowed one walk to load the bases, but escaped the jam with a strikeout to keep the game at 3-0.
Cubs lefty Frank Del Valle easily stole the show, as he was masterful in his 10th start of the year. Fighting a blister which developed early in the game, he still held the Threshers hitless while striking out 11 through his six innings of work. He was replaced in the bottom of the seventh by right-hander Eduardo Figueroa, who allowed the one out round-tripper to Murphy to finally put the Threshers on the board.
Unfortunately for the home team, that would be all they would muster, as Cameron Rupp's eighth-inning double was the only other hit for Clearwater on the night. Daytona closer Tony Zych came on for the ninth inning and retired the side 1-2-3.
Morgan took the loss on the mound, dropping to 2-7 on the season. Johnson, Austin Brough, and Hector Neris combined for 4.1 shutout innings of relief out the Threshers bullpen. Chase Utley finished 0 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch, as he played nine innings at second base for the first time this season.
These two teams will wrap up the series on Saturday at 6:30pm.
In addition to activating Morgan off the DL Friday, the Threshers added LHP Jay Johnson to the squad...Johnson, a 22-year-old lefty, began the year with Reading but has recently been on the disabled list as well... The Threshers have the third-highest team batting average in the league, but also the third-highest staff ERA... The Threshers have left the fewest men on base in the league.