DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - For the second-straight night, Daytona completed a comeback, as the Tortugas rallied from four down to sink the St. Lucie Mets, 6-5, in front of 1,858 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday evening.
With Daytona's victory (30-37, 65-67) - coupled with Clearwater's triumph over Lakeland and Dunedin's doubleheader split with Fort Myers - the Tortugas will enter Wednesday in a virtual tie with the Threshers for the second and final playoff spot in the Florida State League North Division.
Down 5-1 after four-and-a-half frames, the 'Tugas began to chip away in the bottom of the fifth. A single from DH Pabel Manzanero (1-4, 2 R, 2 SO) and a double by LF Drew Mount (2-3, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI) began the rally. Following a strikeout, RF Andy Sugilio (2-4, RBI) hustled out an infield single - scoring Manzanero - to put Daytona within three, 5-2. SS José García (0-3, RBI) proceeded to make it a two-run contest, 5-3, with a sacrifice fly to left.
An inning later, Daytona kept the pedal to the metal. With nobody on and one out, C Hendrik Clementina (4-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) demolished a 3-1 offering off his own headshot on the videoboard in left-centerfield. The solo blast - his team-leading 14th of the year - cut the 'Tugas deficit to one, 5-4.
A walk to 3B Bryant Flete (0-3, R, BB, SO) and a throwing error that enabled Manzanero to reach kept the rally alive with two away. On the first delivery after a pitching change, Mount scalded a liner into the corner in right. Both runners raced around to score on the 23-year-old's double, giving Daytona the lead once again, 6-5.
The Tortugas' bullpen made sure that one-run lead stayed put. RHP Julio Pinto (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 SO) worked himself out of trouble in the seventh - earning his second win of the year - while RHP Dauri Moreta (2.0 IP, 2 SO) retired all six batters he faced to seal the victory and his second save.
Daytona initially squirted out to a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first on a run-producing knock by Clementina. All five of St. Lucie's (35-31, 67-65) runs came in the top of the fifth on a two-run LF Zach Ashford (4-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI) single, a sacrifice fly from 1B Matt Winaker (1-4, RBI), and a two-RBI double by SS Manny Rodríguez (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI).
RHP Aaron Fossas (5.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB) ran into trouble in the fifth inning for Daytona but took a no-decision on Tuesday. Mets' RHP Luc Rennie (5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, BB, 5 SO) was saddled with his eighth defeat.
Fun and community will be center stage tomorrow with a Wishful Wednesday presented by VyStar Credit Union. Each Wednesday home game, the Tortugas celebrate, recognize, and help raise awareness and funds for local charities around Volusia County. We celebrate the start of the new school year and welcome elementary school students throughout the area with our Back to School Night in partnership with Volusia County Schools. Fans are encouraged to bring their four-legged furry friends for a "nine-inning vacation" of their own for a Bark in the Park Night presented by NextHome at the Beach. For just $2, patrons can purchase a "pooch pass" to have their pup join them at the game. The 'Tugas will also host their Yappy Hours with $3 spiked seltzer's all evening long. The third contest will get underway at 7:05 p.m.
The Tortugas Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:50 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:05 p.m. ET start at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Wednesday evening's affair can be heard on www.daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Looking to seal a series victory, the Tortugas are expected to send the team's strikeout leader - RHP Mac Sceroler (5-4, 3.93 ERA) - to the hill. St. Lucie is projected to counter with RHP Joe Cavallaro (6-5, 3.72 ERA).
Tickets are still currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com, or by calling the Tortugas' Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the High-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of the Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Beijing Shougang Eagles of National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) and many large community events and initiatives throughout the season.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.