Clearwater, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers (31-30) needed only one hit to defeat the Tampa Yankees (26-34) 3-2 in a walk-off win on Tuesday night at Bright House Field.
The Threshers took an early lead with a run in the first. Carlos Alonso worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a single by Pete Lavin. Aaron Altherr then drove in Alonso with an RBI fielder's choice.
Yankees' starter Joel De La Cruz allowed one run on one hit in four and two-third innings while walking one and striking out six. The right-hander retired the last 13 batters he faced before leaving in the fifth.
RHP Eric Ruth made his Tampa Yankees debut in the fifth and retired seven of the eight batters he faced. Ruth allowed a walk in two and a third innings of relief.
Tampa tied the score in the sixth. Cito Culver drew a one-out walk and moved to second on a single by Taylor Dugas. Robert Refsnyder then tied the game with an RBI single to center.
Reliever Zach Woods relieved Ruth in the eighth. After walking the leadoff batter, the right-hander worked a scoreless frame, capped off by a leaping catch by O'Brien at third base to save the go-ahead run from scoring.
The Yankees scored the go-ahead run in the ninth without the need of a hit. Threshers' reliever Ryan O'Sullivan walked Dugas to begin the frame. One out later, O'Brien drew a walk. Dan Fiorito struck out for the second out of the inning. Cody Grice proceeded to walk, loading the bases. After working a 3-2 count, Jose Toussen then walked off O'Sullivan, forcing in Dugas from third to give Tampa a 2-1 lead.
Woods (0-1) returned for the ninth and proceeded to walk the first three batters he faced. Lavin, Altherr and Chris Serritella loaded the bases with no outs. Cameron Perkins popped out before Brock Stassi drew an RBI walk, forcing in Lavin to tie the game. Harold Martinez then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Altherr to win the game for Clearwater.
Neither team used a hit to score the three combined runs in the ninth inning.
De La Cruz, Ruth and Woods combined to toss a one-hitter, despite the loss.
The series wraps up on Wednesday with a double-header beginning at 5:00 p.m. in Tampa at George M. Steinbrenner Field. RHP Branden Pinder will start for the Yankees. LHP Ethan Stewart is scheduled for the Threshers. Fans can enjoy Kids Night where kids 14 and under receive a free hot dog, soda and ice cream with the purchase of a reserved ticket ($5) at the Steinbrenner Field Box Office.