CLEARWATER, Fla. - A strong offensive night aided by miscues pushed the Clearwater Threshers past the St. Lucie Mets 7-2 in the opener of the four-game series to end the first half at Spectrum Field. With the victory, the Threshers find themselves just 3.5 games back in the Florida State League North with three games to play.
Momentum started on the side of St. Lucie (30-33) when Jeremy Vazquez hit a home-run to left off Alejandro Requena (5-3) to make the score 1-0. The right-hander came in after Major League rehabber Ebubray Ramos struck out three in the first.
Clearwater (35-28) responded in the bottom of the frame with two-out hits from Rodolfo Duran and Daniel Brito. After Brito's single dropped, Duran scored on a fielding error from Mets' right-fielder Matt Winaker. With the game tied 1-1, Requena settled in with two scoreless frames with a strikeout.
The offensive explosion started for the Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate in the fourth against Mets' right-hander Tony Dibrell (4-4). After two straight hits from Nick Maton and Matt Vierling, Duran laced a double into right field to put Clearwater ahead 3-1. Simon Muzziotti added to the lead with a sacrifice fly to plate Duran to make it a 4-1. More St. Lucie mistakes would continue to aid the Threshers.
With Brito on first after a single, rehabbing Roman Quinn lined a ball off the glove of third baseman Blake Tiberi to move Duran to third. Left-fielder Rafael Gladu spiked a throw into second which allowed Brito to score. Alec Bohm followed up with an opposite-field triple to score Quinn. Jhailyn Ortiz drove Bohm in with a double to left to give Clearwater a 7-1 lead.
The New York Mets' affiliate committed two errors and pushed their season total to 60. Dibrell suffered the loss with seven runs (six earned) allowed on nine hits in just 3.2 frames.
The big lead was enough for Requena, who earned the win despite traffic on the bases. The 22-year-old allowed two runs on seven hits and four walks. The native of Venezuela exited in the fifth with Clearwater up 7-2.
The bullpen took over as Austin Ross and Zach Warren shut St. Lucie's (30-33) offense down after the fifth. Ross struck out three in 2.2 innings of work and Warren pitched a scoreless ninth to close the series-opening win out.
The Philadelphia Phillies' affiliate improved their home record to 16-15 and have won five of their last eight contests at Spectrum Field. With 11 more strikeouts, the Threshers have reached double-digit strikeouts in every game in the month of June.
The offense was backed by another multi-hit night from Rodolfo Duran. The 21-year-old catcher went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two driven in. The 21-year-old catcher has gone 7-for-12 in his last three games with a home run and seven RBI.
Clearwater continues the final series of the first half with St. Lucie on Tuesday night at Spectrum Field. RHP Andrew Brown (2-3 6.75) will get the start for the Threshers against Mets' RHP Ervin Santana (0-1 9.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. at threshersbaseball.com.
Dollar Tuesday will make its return to Spectrum Field for the contest. Berm tickets are just $1 and available at walk-up at Spectrum Field. Plus, enjoy $1 hot dogs, 16 oz fountain sodas, chips and more.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.