BRADENTON, Fla. - The Clearwater Threshers tied a season-high with four longs balls on Wednesday night, helping left the visitors to a 12-7 victory over the Bradenton Marauders in the rubber match of the three-game set at LECOM Park. The home run output matches the total the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate launched out of Jack Russell Memorial Stadium against the Dunedin Blue Jays on May 11.
Jhailyn Ortiz slugged the first of his two shots in the first inning to open the scoring. After a free pass to Alec Bohm, Ortiz drove a 1-1 pitch from Aaron Shortridge over the wall in left for the 2-0 advantage.
The lead did not last long, as Andrew Brown allowed three runs in the bottom half of the inning. The right-hander gave up a single to Travis Swaggerty and a double to Cal Mitchell before an RBI ground out by Chris Sharpe trimmed the lead to one.
The starter struck out Dylan Busby for the second out, but surrendered an opposite field home run to Deon Stafford to fall into a one-run deficit.
Clearwater (38-31, 2-1) bounced right back with a grand slam off the bat off Nick Maton to right to pull ahead 6-3. The slam was set up by a lead-off single by Danny Mayer and a walk to Ben Aklinski. Jack Conley flew out to center in front of Dalton Guthrie being hit by a pitch to load the bags for Maton.
The road team extended the lead to 7-3 on an RBI single to right from Aklinski in the third, pushing across Matt Vierling.
Bradenton (37-32, 1-2) grabbed a run in the fourth with runners on the corners and a double play ball by Jesse Medrano. The home team knotted the contest at seven with a three-run blast by Cal Mitchell against Brown in the fifth.
Ortiz took matters into his hands, again, in the sixth frame against Gavin Wallace (1-3), as the 20-year-old shot out another two-run bomb to left to push the Threshers back out in front at 9-7. The young slugger joined Edgar Cabral as the only two Thresher players to record multi-home run performances during the 2019 campaign.
Bohm added an extra run in the eighth with a run-scoring double to the gap in right center, and Mayer capped off the long ball barrage with a two-run round-tripper off the boardwalk in left center for the 12-7 lead.
Clearwater's bullpen was dominant in the finale, holding Bradenton off the board through the final five innings. The combination of Kyle Arjona (1-0), Zach Warren and Grant Dyer (SV, 4) scattered three hits, walked just one, and struck out six. Arjona earned the win with two scoreless innings, while Dyer picked up his fourth save in as many chances with a clean 1.1 innings or work.
The Threshers take their hot bats into game one of a four-game series against the Daytona Tortugas at Spectrum Field on Thursday night. It has yet to be determined who will take the mound for Clearwater against Daytona's RHP Austin Orewiler (3-6, 3.67). first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. with Threshers Live! The Pre-game Show on threshersbaseball.com.
The series opener features the return of Taps & Tacos presented by Tijuana Flats. Fans can enjoy half price on all beverages in the ballpark, and food from the T-Flats cart in the beer garden on the left field concourse. Fans 21-and-older can also enjoy $3.50 24 oz. local craft drafts at the ballpark!
Lil' Anglers Kids Clubs presented by Tampa Bay Times returns on Thursday night. The club is designed for children 13-and-younger. Membership includes admission to and a food voucher for Thursday home games, gifts, and special Thursday night club activities. The Lil' Anglers Kids Club is just $25 per child per season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.