In the lid-lifter, the Tortugas (8-9) pounced ahead in the top of the second. After a walk to 3B Yonathan Mendoza (1-3, R, BB) and a single by CF Lorenzo Cedrola (1-4, R, 2 SO), a wild pitch enabled a run to score to put Daytona in front, 1-0. With Cedrola now at second, RF Andy Sugilio (2-3, 2B, RBI) followed with a knock to center. The centerfielder came across to score to make it a 2-0 contest.
2B Alejo Lopez (1-3, R, 3B, BB, SO) kept the offense rolling in the third, leading off the frame with a triple to right-center. On the very next pitch, 1B Bruce Yari (1-4, RBI, SO) scalded a liner into right. Lopez trotted home from third to give the Tortugas a 3-0 edge.
Florida (6-11) began to chip away at the lead in the third and fourth. RF Shean Michel (1-2, R, 2B, BB) walked to begin the third and proceeded to swipe second. 2B Riley Delgado (1-4, RBI, SO) would poke a run-scoring single to right to trim Daytona's lead to 3-1.
The Fire Frogs received consecutive singles to begin the fourth, but a double play grounder left them with a man at third and two outs. 3B Kevin Josephina (1-3, RBI) then hit a pop up to shallow right that got lost in the sun. What should have been the final out of the inning turned into an RBI single, making it a 3-2 affair. After a Michel double put the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second, SS Riley Unroe (0-4) grounded out to short to end the threat.
That was as close as game one would get, as Daytona's bullpen shut the door. RHP Cory Thompson (2.0 IP, H, 2 SO) hurled two spotless frames of relief to earn his Florida State League-leading fourth win of the year. RHP John Ghyzel (1.0 IP) worked a perfect seventh to seal the win and his second save of the campaign.
Despite leaving with the lead, LHP Reiver Sanmartin (4.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 SO) received a no-decision for the Tortugas. His counterpart - RHP Nolan Kingham (4.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 SO) - suffered the defeat for Florida in his FSL debut.
Things did not start as smoothly for Daytona in game number two. SS Riley Unroe (2-3, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI) led off the bottom of the first by hooking a deep fly ball around the foul pole in right for a solo home run. The blast - his first of the year - put the Fire Frogs ahead, 1-0.
The Tortugas answered back with two in the top of the third. With one out, SS Carlos Rivero (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI) clocked a deep drive that carried over the fence in right-center for a homer. The 21-year-old's clout - his first long ball since July 8, 2016, as a member of the Arizona League Reds - pulled Daytona even at one apiece. Following a hit-by-pitch and a passed ball, RF Andy Sugilio (2-5, 2 RBI, SO) gave the Tortugas the lead, 2-1, with an RBI knock to right.
Daytona's advantage did not last long, as Florida crawled ahead in the bottom of the frame. With one away, a walk and a single put runners at first and third. 3B Riley Delgado (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) and LF Jefrey Ramos (1-4, RBI, 2 SO) then provided back-to-back run-producing singles to give the Fire Frogs a 3-2 edge.
Once again, the Tortugas fought back and regained the lead in the fourth. With two on and two out, DH Randy Ventura (2-3, R, RBI, BB, SO) hit a grounder in the hole between first and second. The ball was knocked down, but there was no play at first. Thanks to both runners being in motion on a 3-2 offering, C Mark Kolozsvary (0-2, 2 R, 2 BB) scored from second to tie the contest up at three. Sugilio followed with an RBI infield single to second, giving Daytona the advantage, 4-3.
The contest would move on to extras, as Florida tied the game in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to left by Unroe.
Even at four, the Tortugas' offense erupted in the top of the eighth. With men at the corners and one down, LF Miles Gordon (1-3, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, BB, SO) sliced a line drive over the left fielder's head. Both runners scored easily, as the former fourth-round pick slid into third with a two-run triple. Rivero then added to the lead, as he smoked a single through the drawn-in infield to make it a 7-4 ballgame.
Florida pulled a run closer in the bottom of the frame, courtesy of an RBI double down the left-field line by Delgado, but that was the end of the line. RHP Wendolyn Bautista (1.0 IP, H, R, 2 SO) accrued a pair of strikeouts and a fly out to center to finish off his third save of the year and a 7-5 Tortuga victory.
After taking the defeat in his first three decisions, Daytona's RHP Ryan Olson (2.0 IP, H) garnered his first win of the campaign by tossing two spotless innings of relief. RHP Sean McLaughlin (2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO) yielded three runs in the eighth and was saddled with his first loss for Florida.
Neither starter received a decision in the nightcap. RHP Ryan Lillie (5.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO) struck out a season-best seven for the Tortugas, while the Fire Frogs' RHP Troy Bacon (2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO) punched out five in his first professional start.
Following the league-wide off day on Sunday, Daytona will return home to open up a seven-game homestand on Monday night, starting with a three-contest series against the Dunedin Blue Jays, High-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. LHP Packy Naughton (1-1, 2.55 ERA) - Cincinnati's No. 21 prospect according to MLB.com - is expected to start the series opener for the 'Tugas. Dunedin has not yet named their starter for the lid-lifter.
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. Monday evening's game can be heard on daytonatortugas.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
It will be the team's first Belly Buster Monday of the year presented by Marco's Pizza. For just a $13 ticket, fans will be treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet of their favorite ballpark foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and popcorn.
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.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.