TAMPA, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers snapped their three-game losing streak by nabbing the first game of a four-game set against the Tampa Tarpons, 6-3, on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Ethan Evanko (5-2) continued to stay hot on the mound, as the southpaw tossed six scoreless frames for his sixth straight quality start. The Gilbert, Ariz. Native allowed two men to reach base in the opening frame after a one-out walk to Diego Castillo was followed by a single off the bat of Oswaldo Cabrera, but the starter settled in and retired the next seven batters to step up to the plate.
The southpaw has yet to allow more than three earned runs through all 19 appearances in 2019, and lowered his ERA from 1.77 down to 1.61 between Lakewood and Clearwater after Thursday's performance.
The Threshers were being no-hit by Shawn Semple (1-2) entering the fifth inning, but attacked the right-hander early in the count as Luke Miller doubled on the first pitch to start the inning, stayed at second after Matt Kroon grounded out to third on the first pitch of his at-bat, and scored after the first pitch to Rodolfo Duran was sent to left for an RBI single.
Dalton Guthrie went after the first pitch and singled to center, and Daniel Brito capped off the frame by sending a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left for his third round-tripper of the season to push the lead out to 4-0.
Miller collected his second extra-base hit of the evening by lifting a solo blast out to right field to extend Clearwater's (47-36, 11-6) lead to lead to five.
Tampa (35-47, 7-9) used the long ball to score three runs against Kyle Arjona in the eighth. After a one-out free pass to Cabrera, Dermis Garcia took the first pitch out to right to trim the visitor's lead down to three. The home run tied the 21-year-old with Bradenton's Dylan Busby for the top slot amongst home run hitters in the Florida State League at 17.
Two batters later, Steven Sensley sent a second ball out in the inning for a solo blast to bring the home team within two.
Guthrie added some breathing room with an RBI double to center in the ninth, plating Kroon for the 6-3 advantage.
Keylan Killgore (SV, 8) picked up his eighth save in as many chances by holding the Tarpons off the board through the finale 1.1 innings.
The Threshers continue the four-game set at George M. Steinbrenner Field with game two against the Tarpons on Friday night. RHP Kyle Glogoski (1-0, 1.86) toes the slab for Clearwater against Tampa's RHP Janson Junk (2-4, 5.16). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with coverage starting at 6:15 p.m. with Threshers Live! The Pregame Show.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.