CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers were limited to just three hits on Wednesday afternoon, suffering their sixth shutout in a 4-0 loss to the Tampa Yankees.
Tampa (34-19) took both ends of the two-game set, and increased their advantage to a season-high 3.5 games on the Threshers (30-22) in the Florida State League North.
Scott Kingery knocked the first hit of the game for Clearwater with his league-leading 20th double. The Threshers second baseman has seven more doubles than anyone else in the FSL, and the second-most amongst all affiliated minor leaguers. Only Brian Mundell of Asheville in the South Atlantic League has more, with 27.
Ranfi Casimiro and Josh Rogers dueled to a scoreless tie before the Yankees broke out in the fourth inning.
After Thairo Estrada reached on a Kingery error to start the inning, Austin Aune worked a walk and Zack Zehner singled to center to load the bases.
Jake Skole brought home the game's first run with a grounder to second, scoring Estrada. Wes Wilson followed by jumping on the first pitch and delivering a single to left, bringing two more across to make it 3-0.
That would be more than enough for Rogers, who held the Threshers to two hits and a walk across five scoreless innings.
The left-hander retired the first eight men to start the game before Derek Campbell reached on an error in the third. Kingery then grounded a double past the third baseman Miguel Andujar for the Threshers first hit, setting up two men in scoring position. Carlos Tocci bunted back toward the pitcher Rogers, who threw out Tocci at first to end the inning.
Zehner made it 4-0 in the fourth, coming through with a two-out RBI single to right to score Estrada from second.
Casimiro (5-4) would give the Threshers five innings in the start, permitting four runs - three earned - on seven hits and three walks.
The Clearwater bullpen shut the door through the final four innings, as Victor Arano, Alexis Rivero, and Ulises Joaquin scattered three hits and held the Yankees off the board the rest of the way.
Kingery finished 1-for-3 with a two-base hit, a walk, and his 11th stolen base. Zach Green doubled on a sharp grounder up the third base line in the seventh, and has collected a hit in eight-straight games. The other hit belonged to Campbell, who doubled as well in the fifth.
After an off-day on Thursday, the Threshers return to action at home on Friday night as they welcome in the Jupiter Hammerheads for a four-game series. Clearwater will send lefty Elniery Garcia (4-2) to the mound against fellow southpaw Michael Mader.
Friday is also Free-Shirt Friday at Bright House Field, with fans receiving a military-themed Threshers t-shirt, and the Black Honkeys will be performing a post-game concert. First pitch is at 6:15 p.m. and the game can be heard live on the Threshers Broadcast network starting at 6 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.