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Kirtley's blast pushes Cards past 'Tugas in finale, 2-1

Cardinals' right fielder cracks game-deciding shot in the sixth
RHP Ryan Lillie surrendered just two runs on four hits over six innings, but the Palm Beach Cardinals squeaked past the Daytona Tortugas, 2-1, in front of 792 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night. (Aldrin Capulong)
May 8, 2019

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - In a tightly contested pitcher's duel, RF Zach Kirtley 's solo home run in the top of the sixth proved to be the difference, as the Palm Beach Cardinals snatched the series finale from the Daytona Tortugas, 2-1, in front of 792 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - In a tightly contested pitcher's duel, RF Zach Kirtley 's solo home run in the top of the sixth proved to be the difference, as the Palm Beach Cardinals snatched the series finale from the Daytona Tortugas, 2-1, in front of 792 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Scoreless through three innings, Palm Beach (19-13) drew first blood in the top of the fourth. DH Yariel González (1-4, R, 2B, SO) reached on a ground-rule double that bounced over the right-centerfield fence. On the next pitch, 3B Michael Perri (2-4, RBI, SO) ripped a single through a hole on the right side. González came home on the base-hit to put the Cardinals in front, 1-0.
It stayed that way until the top of the sixth. On an 0-2 pitch, Kirtley (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) blasted a deep shot over the batting cages in left for a home run. The dinger - his fourth of the year - extended the Cardinals advantage to two, 2-0.
The Tortugas (15-17) answered back in the bottom of the sixth. CF Drew Mount (1-4, R, SO) got aboard on a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After an infield single by 3B Jonathan India (2-4, SO) and a fly out that advanced Mount to third, the former first-round pick broke for second on a pitch in the dirt. India was thrown out in between first and second, but Mount came home to score without a throw, trimming the deficit down to 2-1.
Daytona put together rallies in the seventh and ninth, but could not complete the comeback. The Tortugas had runners at the corners and one out in the seventh, but a double play ended the rally. In the ninth, Daytona got LF Stuart Fairchild (1-4, 2 SO) to second thanks to an infield hit and a throwing error, but a ground out to the pitcher ended the game.
RHP Edgar González (6.1 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 11 SO) punched out a career-high 11 batters for Palm Beach, earning his second win of the year. It was a quality start for Daytona's RHP Ryan Lillie (6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 SO), yet he was still saddled with his third defeat. RHP Ben Yokley (1.0 IP, H, SO) recorded the final three outs for the Redbirds to earn his first save of the year.
Daytona will continue their six-game homestand on Thursday, as the Lakeland Flying Tigers, High-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, come to town for a three-contest series. LHP Packy Naughton (2-2, 2.56 ERA) - Cincinnati's No. 21 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com - is expected to take the hill in the lid-lifter for the 'Tugas. Lakeland is scheduled to counter with RHP Dane Myers (1-3, 6.10 ERA).
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. Thursday evening's game can be heard on daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
The biggest party in Central Florida returns to The Jack, as a Bud Light Thirsty Thursday kicks off the weekend series. Fans can enjoy draft beers and fountain sodas for just $1 all evening long.
Season ticket and multi-game plans 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.