TAMPA, Fla. - The regular season closed with the Tampa Yankees (35-31, 77-58) losing both ends of a doubleheader to the Lakeland Flying Tigers (26-38, 60-72), 5-4 in 10 innings and 6-4 in seven innings, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After Hurricane Hermine resulted in four cancellations and one postponement, the Yankees played their first game since Monday.
Tito Polo made his debut with Tampa after being acquired by the Yankees in the trade that sent RHP Ivan Nova to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Polo singled in his first at-bat and later scored on a two-out single by Rashad Crawford in the first inning, giving Tampa what would be its only lead of the twin bill.
Lakeland rallied to take a 4-1 lead in the third with a two-run single by Tyler Bortnick and a two-run double by Zach Shepherd.
RHP Domingo German allowed four runs on six hits in five innings, walking one and striking out two. German threw 58 of 91 pitches for strikes and retired the final seven batters he faced.
Kevin Cornelius hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth.
Tampa then forced extras by scoring twice off RHP Gerson Moreno. After two quick outs, Gleyber Torres and Crawford each singled. A walk by Zack Zehner loaded the bases. A second walk by Cornelius forced home a run. Moreno then hit Jeff Hendrix with a pitch, tying the game at 4-4.
RHP Spencer Turnbull took a no-decision for Lakeland after making a quality start, holding the Yankees to two runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings. Turnbull walked three, struck out five and threw 66 of 102 pitches for strikes.
The Flying Tigers score the go-ahead run in the 10th off RHP Alex Bisacca (L, 0-1). Ross Kivett hit a two-out single and Shepherd followed with an RBI double.
RHP Santiago Garrido (W, 2-1) threw three scoreless relief innings to earn the win, walking two and striking out one.
LHP Stephen Tarpley made his Tampa debut by starting game two. Like Polo, Tarpley also arrived from the Nova trade and joined the Yankees after playing with the Bradenton Marauders.
Lakeland jumped ahead in the first with a two-out, two run double by Kivett. A walk and a double opened the second and a run scored as Garrett Mattlage reached on a fielder's choice. Andres Sthomes followed with an RBI single and Mattlage laer scored on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Simcox.
Tarpley (L, 6-5) followed by retiring eight of the next nine batters, putting up zeros in the third and fourth. The southpaw then worked around a single and a walk to retire the side in the fifth, finishing with his third strikeout. Altogether, Tarpley allowed five earned runs on seven hits in five innings, walking a pair and striking out three while throwing 55 of 83 pitches for strikes.
Tampa got on the board in the fourth, with Connor Spencer reaching on a leadoff double and scoring on single by Hendrix.
RHP A.J. Ladwig (W, 12-9) held Tampa to one run on seven hits in five innings, walking three and striking out five. The righty threw 61 of 89 pitches for strikes.
A three-run sixth brought the go-ahead run to the plate for the T-Yanks. Hendrix ripped a one-out triple off RHP Gabe Hemmer. One out later, Jorge Mateo reached on an RBI infield single. Mateo then stole second and reached third on a balk before Polo served an RBI single into right. Thairo Estrada followed with an RBI double into left-center, cutting the deficit to 5-4. Hemmer struck out Torres, ending the rally.
Lakeland added an insurance run off RHP Sean Carley in the seventh. Simcox reached on a throwing error by Mateo at shortstop and later scored on a single by Borstick.
RHP Jeff Thompson (SV, 1) worked around a two-out walk to close out the game, striking out one and earning his first save since 2013.
Estrada (5-for-8, 3 doubles, BB, RBI) went 4-for-4 in game two, recording his first four-hit game since joining Tampa. Hendrix (3-for-7, 3B, 2RBI, R) hit safely in both games. Trey Amburgey (2-for-4) is on a six-game hitting streak. Crawford (3-for-5, RBI, R, SB) recorded his second three-hit game in three games. In game two, Torres (1-for-9, R) started at second base for the first time in his career.
RHPs Gabriel Encinas (1.0IP, 1BB), Eduardo Rivera (1.0IP, 1H, 2BB, 2K), Dillon McNamara (1.0IP, 1K), Jordan Foley (1.0IP, 1BB) and LHP Caleb Frare (1.0IP, 3K) tossed scoreless relief innings.
The Yankees will enjoy a day off on Monday before facing the Dunedin Blue Jays in game one of the Florida State League North Division Semifinals on Tuesday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. RHP Yefrey Ramirez (3-7, 2.84 ERA) will start for Tampa against RHP Luis Santos (4-1, 3.40 ERA) for Dunedin. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.