DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Tejay Antone allowed just one run over seven innings at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Sunday night to help the Tortugas force a game four in the Florida State League Championship Series. Alberti Chavez's two-out RBI single in the eighth provided a two-run cushion and Alfredo Rodriguez's two-run triple a few pitches later put the game out of reach.
For the first time in the playoffs, the Tortugas scored first. Taylor Trammell and Courtney Hawkins both reached with one-out in the first off RHP Brusdar Graterol. Tyler Stephenson then lined a double down the right field line to score Trammell from second. Hawkins tried to score as well, but was thrown out at the plate.
Bruce Yari and Brantley Bell hit back-to-back one-out singles on back-to-back pitches in the fourth. Both moved up an additional 90-feet on a Graterol wild pitch. With two-outs, Rodriguez chopped a slow roller up the third base line for an infield single, scoring Yari from third, and giving the Tortugas a 2-0 lead.
Royce Lewis led off the top of the sixth with a solo home run off Antone to put the Miracle on the board and cut the score in half, 2-1.
The Tortugas got the run right back in the bottom of the sixth. Stephenson was hit by RHP Ryan Mason to open up the inning, then moved to third on a one-out Yari double. After the Miracle elected to intentionally walk the Bell to load the bases, Chavez came through with an RBI single to left to put the Tortugas up 3-1.
With one-out in the eighth, Lewis took RHP Joel Kuhnel deep to left with his second solo home run of the game to cut the Miracle deficit to 3-2.
The Tortugas put the game out of reach in their half of the eighth. RHP Colton Davis walked Stephenson on five pitches to start the inning, then with one-out, Davis walked Yari as well. The Yari walk pushed Stephenson to second, where Michael Beltre took over as a pinch runner. After Davis retired Bell for the second out, Chavez came through again by hitting a two-out single into right to score Beltre and run the score to 4-2. Rodriguez followed that up by lining a 1-2 pitch into right center for a two-run triple to extend the Tortuga lead to 6-2.
Antone (1-0) gets the win after allowing one run on four hits in seven innings with a pair of walks and a pair of strikeouts. Graterol (0-1) gets the loss in his postseason debut after allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings with a walk and six strikeouts.
LHP Scott Moss will get the ball for the Tortugas in game four of the best-of-5 game FSL Championship Series. The Miracle still hold a 2-1 series lead, and are a win away from clinching the title. RHP Edwar Colina will make his postseason debut for Fort Myers.
First pitch Monday is scheduled for 7:05 PM with coverage beginning at 6:50 PM with the Metcare Pregame Show on AM 1230, AM 1490, and FM 106.9 WSBB.
NOTES: RHP Ryan Hendrix struck out the side in a scoreless top of the ninth. Hendrix and Joel Kuhnel combined to strikeout five of the six batters they faced… For the second time in the playoffs, the Tortugas used all 12 of their available position players… Morgan Lofstrom has caught two of Hendrix three playoff appearance… Alberti Chavez has a hit in 7-straight games since coming off the DL. Despite not entering the game until the sixth, he finished with his first multi-hit game since 7/15 and his first multi-RBI game since 7/6… Randy Ventura doubled 7 times in 65 regular season games, he has doubled twice in six postseason games… Tyler Stephenson has reached base in 10 of his last 14 trips to the plate… Courtney Hawkins extended his hit streak to a season-high 8 games. He is 13 for his last 30… Alfredo Rodriguez has five postseason RBI's.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.