CLEARWATER, FL - The Tortugas trailed 4-0 after two and 6-2 after four before rallying to tie the game at six Tuesday in the top of the eighth at Spectrum Field. But in the bottom of the eighth, Grenny Cumana took LHP Carlos Diaz deep for a game-winning solo home run.
Clearwater struck first off RHP Tejay Antone in their half of the first. The first two hitters reached, and with one away Henri Lartigue hit a two-run double to put the Threshers on the board. Lartigue moved to third on a Luke Williams single then came into score when Edgar Cabral grounded into a fielder's choice.
Raul Rivas reached on a Brantley Bell error to start the second. He would steal second, move to third on a ground-out, and score on a two-out RBI single from Arquimedes Gamboa to run the lead to 4-0.
A two-out, two-run home run from Courtney Hawkins to left center field in the top of the fourth cut the score in half, 4-2.
Antone gave the runs right back in the home half of the fourth. Rivas reached on a one-out infield single and scored from first three pitches later on a Kevin Markham triple. Markham scored two pitches after his hit on a Daniel Brito RBI single to extend the lead to 6-2.
RHP Adonis Medina hit Ibandel Isabel with two-outs in the fifth, then walked Bruce Yari on five pitches. Two pitches later after the walk, Tyler Stephenson drove Isabel in from second with an RBI single to cut the score in half, 6-3.
Clearwater brought RHP Trevor Bettencourt on to pitch the seventh. Stuart Fairchild doubled on the first pitch of the inning, then on the second pitch Taylor Trammell hit a two-run home run to left field to cut the Tortuga deficit to one.
Daytona would complete the comeback in the top of the eighth, when Alfredo Rodriguez hit a two-out double to right center field to drive in Randy Ventura from first and tie the game at six.
After Cumana threw Rodriguez out at the plate to end the top of the eighth, he led off the bottom half by hitting a solo home run off Diaz to round out the scoring at 7-6.
RHP Addison Russ (1-0) took the win in relief. Russ allowed one hit in 1 ⅓ innings. Diaz (0-1) gets the loss. He struck out a batter and allowed the game winning run to score in the eighth.
The best-of-three series now turns to Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. The Tortugas need to win on Wednesday to keep their season going. Minor League Baseball's wins leader LHP Scott Moss (15-4, 3.68) will get the ball against RHP Alejandro Requena (4-4, 3.60), who goes for the Threshers.
First pitch Wednesday 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: Ty Boyles allowed just one hit with two strikeouts in 2 ⅔ scoreless innings in relief… Stuart Fairchild extended his hitting streak to 6-straight. He now has 15 multi-hit games… Taylor Trammell homered for the first time since 7/24. He extended his hitting streak to 6-games. He now has a team-high 31 multi-hit games… Tyler Stephenson finished with his 24th multi-hit game… Courtney Hawkins homered against a team other then Lakeland. He finished with his sixth multi-hit game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.