TAMPA, Fla. - Tied at two going to the seventh, Daytona scored three in that frame, two in the eighth, and one more in the ninth, as the Tortugas swiped the lid-lifter from the Tampa Tarpons, 8-6, on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Even at two after six, the Tortugas (21-19) utilized the long ball in the seventh. After a C Hendrik Clementina (2-4, R, 2 RBI, SO) single began the inning, 1B Bruce Yari (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB) clubbed a drive into right-center field. The shot carried over the wall for a two-run home run - his second of the year - to put Daytona back ahead, 4-2. Three batters later, RF Andy Sugilio (2-4, 2 R, HR, RBI) launched the first pitch he saw down the right-field line. The high-arcing blast hooked around the foul pole for a solo shot - his first - to extend the 'Tugas edge to three, 5-2.
The lead did not last long, though, as Tampa answered back in the bottom half. A walk and a single began the attack and 2B Wendell Rijo (2-4, 2B, RBI) pulled the Tarpons within two courtesy of an RBI single. After a fielder's choice, SS Oswaldo Cabrera (1-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SO) ripped a two-run double into the left-centerfield gap to tie it at five. A change in pitchers did not initially help, as LF Isiah Gilliam 's (2-5, RBI, 2 SO) base-hit to left scored Cabrera to give Tampa their first lead, 6-5.
Much like Daytona's edge in the seventh, the Tarpons' time in the driver's seat was short-lived. In the eighth, DH Alejo Lopez (1-3, R, SO) reached on catcher's interference and LF Drew Mount (2-5, R, 2 SO) singled. Following a plunking of Clementina that loaded the bases, Yari tapped a ground ball up the middle. The roller squirted off the shortstop's mitt and into the outfield. PR-DH Randy Ventura - who came in to run for Lopez - and Mount raced home to give the 'Tugas the power again, 7-6.
In the ninth, Daytona added to their ledger, as Sugilio reached with a single, stole second, and scored on a two-base knock to center from SS José Garcia (1-5, 2B, RBI, SO).
RHP Ryan Nutof (1.1 IP, H, 2 SO) - who came on to record the final out in the eighth - finished the contest in the bottom of the ninth. The 23-year-old issued a leadoff single, but induced a fly out and a pair of swinging strikeouts to end the ballgame.
The Tortugas initially jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to a two-run single to left by Clementina. Tampa tied it in the fifth on a solo home run to right by DH Steven Sensley (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) - his fourth - and an RBI ground out from CF Pablo Olivares (2-5, R, RBI).
LHP Andy Cox (1.1 IP, 2 H, SO) - who made his Florida State League debut after being added from Low-A Dayton on Wednesday - hurled 1.1 innings of work to earn the win. Nutof tallied the final four outs to collect his team-leading sixth save. Tampa's RHP Greg Weissert (1.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, SO) yielded five runs (three earned) to suffer his first defeat.
Neither starter received a decision on Friday. RHP Mac Sceroler (5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO) lasted a season-high five innings and punched out a year-best five for the Tortugas. It was a quality start for the Tarpons' RHP Glenn Otto (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, ER, BB, 7 SO), who whiffed seven in six innings.
Daytona will go for the series victory on Saturday night, as former Yankee farmhand - LHP Reíver Sanmartín (1-3, 5.03 ERA) - is expected to take the mound. Tampa is scheduled to counter with LHP J.P. Sears (1-1, 3.60 ERA).
The Tortugas Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:15 p.m. ET, leading up to the 6:30 p.m. ET start at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Saturday evening's game can be heard on daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Following the road swing, Daytona will return home to The Jack to open up a four-game series against the Clearwater Threshers, High-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, on Monday, May 20. It will be another Belly Buster Monday presented by Marco's Pizza, as a $13 game ticket gives fans access to all-you-can-eat hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. Additionally, it will also be Taste of Daytona Night with local eateries from Daytona Beach and Volusia County will provide samples on the Riverwalk, as a part of the Belly Buster Monday festivities. That evening's contest will be a twinbill starting at 5:30 p.m. ET with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. ET. Both contests will be seven innings in length with a roughly 30-minute break in between contests.
Multi-game plans and single-game 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.