PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - Thanks to a go-ahead knock by CF Stuart Fairchild in the seventh and a solo home run by 3B Jonathan India in the ninth, the Daytona Tortugas bested the Charlotte Stone Crabs, 6-4, on Tuesday night at Charlotte Sports Park.
Tied at three after six, SS José Garcia (3-5, 3 R, 3B, SO) led off the top of the seventh with an infield single and moved to second on a passed ball. After an India (2-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, SO) double and an intentional walk loaded the bases, Fairchild delivered the decisive blow. On the first pitch he saw, the 23-year-old dunked a base-hit into shallow left-center. Two runs scored on Fairchild's single to put Daytona (19-18) back ahead, 5-3.
With one out in the top of the ninth, India stretched the lead out. The 22-year-old ripped a laser on top of the Charlotte (19-19) bullpen in right for a solo home run. The blast - his team-leading sixth of the year - increased the advantage to three, 6-3.
The Stone Crabs would not go quietly, however. DH Garrett Whitley (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) skied a solo home run - his fourth - on to the berm in left with one out in the bottom of the ninth to pull Charlotte within two, 6-4. Following a single and a throwing error that permitted the tying runs to get onboard, RHP Ryan Nutof (1.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 2 SO) quelled the attack. The former Michigan Wolverine struck out the game's final two hitters to seal the win and his team-high-tying fifth save of 2019.
Charlotte grabbed an initial 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly to right by CF Thomas Milone (0-3, RBI, SO). Daytona tied it at one in the top of the third courtesy of a run-scoring double to right from 2B Alejo Lopez (2-5, R, 2B, RBI).
The Stone Crabs regained a 2-1 advantage in the fourth on a solo home run by RF Carl Chester (1-4, R, HR, RBI) - his third - while the Tortugas grabbed their first lead, 3-2, thanks to RBI singles from C Hendrik Clementina (2-5, RBI, 2 SO) and RF Drew Mount (1-3, RBI, 2 BB) in the top of the fifth. Charlotte drew even again in the bottom of the sixth via a solo blast - his second of the campaign - to left from C Ronaldo Hernández (2-4, R, HR, RBI, SO).
RHP Ryan Lillie (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO) struck out six over six innings, tossing his second-straight quality start and collecting his first win of the season for Daytona.
Charlotte's RHP Joe Ryan (4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO) suffered his first loss in relief, as he made his Florida State League-debut on Tuesday. LHP Michael Plassmeyer (4.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO) picked up a no-decision in his second FSL start.
Daytona will look to make it two-in-a-row tomorrow afternoon with LHP Packy Naughton (3-2, 2.35 ERA) - Cincinnati's No. 21 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com - scheduled to make the start. The Stone Crabs have yet to announce their starter for the matinee.
The Tortugas Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 12:45 p.m. ET, leading up to the 1:00 p.m. ET start at Charlotte Sports Park. Wednesday afternoon'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 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.