After an offensive power outage the previous day in their game against Charlotte, only a literal power outage could slow down the Blue Jays on Wednesday night in Dunedin. With the Jays leading 7-4 in the home half of the eighth inning, the lights went out in Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, halting play for nearly twenty minutes. When play resumed, the Blue Jays held on for a 7-6 victory to move them into a tie for first place in the Florida State League North Division.
RHP T.J. Zeuch made his second consecutive start of seven complete innings to earn his third win of the year for Dunedin. Zeuch allowed 11 hits, but used six strikeouts and an 8-1 groundout to flyout ratio to limit Charlotte to four runs.
"I've been getting ahead of guys and getting early contact and early outs. Having a great defense behind me has helped me with that," Zeuch said post-game about going deep into the ballgame for the second straight start. "I've been aggressive and gone right after guys."
Zeuch cruised in the early innings, not allowing a runner to reach second base through the first four frames. A pair of singles led to a run for the Stone Crabs in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Charlotte tagged Zeuch for three runs on an RBI double by Ryan Boldt and a two-run home run by David Olmedo-Barrera, his second home run of the series. With the Blue Jays leading 6-4, manager John Schneider did not hesitate to send Zeuch back out for the seventh.
"There wasn't a conversation," Zeuch said about the decision to go back out for the seventh. "My pitch count was still down. He had the confidence in me to get the job done."
Zeuch allowed a single and two walks in the seventh, but C Mike Reeves caught one of the base runners stealing and Zeuch ended the inning with a ground ball to second.
Offensively, the Blue Jays took command early, scoring one run in the second, three in the third, and one in the fourth. 3B Juan Kelly started the scoring for the Jays, tripling to lead off the second inning and coming around to score on a groundout by RF Lane Thomas. Kelly provided the big blow in the following inning as well, doubling home Cavan Biggio. Lane Thomas drove in two more runs with a single in the inning. The resurgent D.J. Davis tripled in the fourth inning and was knocked home by SS Kevin Vicuna. After a slow start to the season, Davis has hit safely in seven of the Jays last 10 games.
The Jays added another run in the sixth when Davis singled home 1B Matt Dean, who had reached on a double. DH Max Pentecost singled CF Andrew Guillotte in the seventh inning to add a crucial insurance run.
Following the power outage, the Stone Crabs rallied in the ninth inning. Alec Sole and Jake Fraley each reached on singles for Charlotte off of Dunedin LHP Daniel Young. Brandon Lowe tripled the pair home to pull the Stone Crabs within one run. With the tying run 90 feet away on third base, Young recorded a pair of strikeouts to end the game and preserve the win for Dunedin.
The Blue Jays (22-18) and Stone Crabs (19-20) will finish their four-game series tomorrow evening in Dunedin. Lefties Ryan Borucki and Genesis Cabrera are scheduled to square off in the 6:30 PM matchup.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.