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D-Jays split Irish-themed doubleheader
08/26/2010 11:01 PM ET
It was fitting that on "Irish Night" at Dunedin Stadium, that the Blue Jays would count on a man named McClanahan to come through for them when they needed it most.

In game one of a doubleheader against Lakeland, Yan Gomes homered in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extras to set up a Justin McClanahan sacrifice fly in the eighth inning, giving Dunedin a 3-2 win in the opener before getting shutout 3-0 in game two.

Dunedin (66-64, 25-35 2nd half) got off to a good start after an Anthony Gose walk to lead things off. He then stole second and McClanahan singled him home to give the D-Jays a 1-0 lead in support of Ryan Shopshire.

Like Chad Jenkins in game one of Wednesday's scheduled doubleheader, the only thing Shopshire couldn't avoid was giving up the long ball, as he gave up a solo homer to Daniel Fields in the second inning to tie the game at 1-1. It was Fields' second straight game with a home run, and the 19-year-old now has eight on the season in his first season of professional baseball.

Then, Lakeland (66-63, 29-30) got a boost from designated hitter Chris Sedon in the fifth inning, who took Shopshire out to left for his first home run of the season and gave the Flying Tigers a 2-1 lead.

Then, Lakeland turned to the young fireballer Bruce Rondon, who blew away Dunedin in the sixth inning with a fastball touching 97 miles per hour that struck out two batters and set himself up to earn a save in the seventh.

But with one down, he faced the hot hitting Yan Gomes, who promptly took a high fastball from Rondon on a towering ride out to left field, tying the game at 2-2 and sending the game to extra innings.

Matt Daly (2-1) came in to pitch the eighth inning but ran into some trouble after retiring the leadoff hitter, walking both Luis Castillo and Jordan Lennerton on four pitches each. Then after falling behind 2-0 to Francisco Martinez, Daly was able to coerce a hard hit ground ball to shortstop for an inning ending double play after throwing 10 straight balls.

That set things up for Dunedin in the eighth, as Kenny Wilson drew a leadoff walk and stole second base on the first pitch to Gose. Gose grounded out to second base to push Wilson to third, setting it up for McClanahan to hit a high fly ball to fairly deep right field and easily score the speedy Wilson to give Dunedin the opening game of the doubleheader.

Dunedin could manage only two hits in the game, but walks set two of the runs up, with both walks being followed by stolen bases, showing that the D-Jays could manufacture runs even with the bats not working as well.

Unfortunately for Dunedin, the second game didn't go nearly as well. Lakeland effectively ended the game in the first inning with doubles from Pat McKenna and Martinez, who was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple, but still drove in McKenna to make it 1-0.

Dunedin stayed close with Lakeland in what turned out to be a bullpen game for both teams, as three relievers each took the hill, with Frank Gailey starting for Dunedin and Shawn Teufel starting for Lakeland.

Gailey didn't allow a hit after the two doubles to leadoff the game and allowed only one other runner aboard in his four innings, while also striking out a season-high seven batters.

Meanwhile, Teufel ran into a little bit of trouble in the third inning after walks to Ryan Goins and Kenny Wilson, but after he was pulled for Michael Torrealba (1-1), the Flying Tigers settled down and kept Dunedin in check the rest of the way.

The sixth inning put the finishing touches on the scoring, as McClanahan made two errors at third base that ended up leading to two more runs, both credited to Dan DeLucia.

Dunedin managed only four hits in the second game while committing three errors.

The split means that Dunedin is 9-6 against Lakeland this season, and the two teams have three games left in Lakeland beginning on August 31, the beginning of a six game road trip for Dunedin that will end their regular season.

Before then, the Blue Jays will finish out their last home series of the regular season with a three game series against the current FSL North Division leaders in the second half, the Tampa Yankees.

Chuck Huggins will start for Dunedin against Tampa's Craig Heyer. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on starting at 6:50 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.