CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Jeb Stefan matched a season-high with six shutout innings on Sunday, and the Clearwater Threshers survived a late offensive surge from Daytona to outlast the Cubs, 8-7 in the series opener.
Roman Quinn homered in the eighth inning for his first long ball at the high-A level, and Chris Serritella went yard for the second time in as many days.
Clearwater (13-49) had led 8-0 after plating five runs in the bottom of the seventh.
With the Threshers already up 3-0, Gabriel Lino earned a walk after a seven-pitch battle to begin the frame.
One out later, Quinn jumped on the first offering from Jose Rosario and lifted a long drive into the wind that carried over the wall in right-center. His first home run of the season gave the Threshers a 5-0 advantage.
Brian Pointer followed with a single to center, his third hit of the ballgame. KC Serna then fouled off four-straight pitches after falling behind 0-2, and delivered a triple to left-centerfield to score Pointer. The three-bagger for Serna was his second of the afternoon.
After a strikeout of Brandon Short, Chris Serritella sent a 2-0 pitch high in the air to left-center that landed on the berm beyond the wall for a home run. His second round-tripper for the Threshers gave Clearwater an 8-0 lead.
Daytona was not quite finished.
Stefan (3-6) had turned in a superb outing, working six shutout frames while scattering three hits. He did not permit a walk, while striking out five.
Dan Child worked around a lead-off double to pitch a scoreless seventh inning, but ran into trouble in the eighth. A walk and three straight hits opened the frame for Daytona, bringing home two runs.
Child left in favor of Kevin Walter, who allowed a two-run single and a walk before getting Dan Vogelbach to fly out to left for the second out. Wilson Contreras followed with an RBI double to cut the Threshers' lead down to 8-5.
Lee Ridenhour became the third pitcher of the inning for Clearwater, and quickly got Jeimer Candelario to pop out with runners on second and third for out number two. However, Gioskar Amaya delivered a two-run single to bring the Cubs to within a run at 8-7.
From there, Ridenhour walked Rock Shoulders but settled in to strike out Marco Hernandez to halt the Daytona rally in the eighth. He notched his second save of the year by working a perfect ninth inning as well, striking out two of the three batters he faced to end the ball game.
The loss snapped a seven-game skid for the Threshers.
The first three batters in the Clearwater order combined to go 8-for-12 on the afternoon, as Quinn and Pointer each turned in three-hit performances. Serna finished 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Clearwater will try to make it two straight over Daytona (25-36) as the brief series wraps up on Monday at 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on threshersbaseball.com beginning at 6:45 p.m.
Monday is also Wing Fest at Bright House Field. A $12 ticket includes admission to the game and an all-you-can-eat concession menu from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., as fans can vote on their favorite wings from Hooters, Brick House, Abe's, Varsity Club, Buffalo Wild Wings, Smokey Bones, The Stadium, Wing House, and more.