Despite Charlotte loading the bases with the tying run 90 feet away, Dunedin escapes with the 3-2 victory on Friday evening at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
RHP Jake Odorizzi took the ball in a rehab start for Charlotte pitching three solid frames. Jake was cruising along having retired the first eight hitters he faced until D.J. Davis cracked a double to the corner in left to put a man in scoring position in the bottom of the third. The next two hitters Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio, who went a combined 0-10 the night before, both singled to drive in the first two runs of the game to spring Dunedin out in front to the 2-0 lead.
Dunedin pushed across another run in the bottom of the sixth. Juan Kelly began things with a double and the next batter Connor Panas looped a two bagger to left to score Kelly to extend the Dunedin lead to 3-0. Juan finished the night 2-4 and is now hitting .309 in 40 games played in the second half.
Charlotte made things interesting in the top of the seventh. Both Kevin Padlo and Angel Moreno singled to put runners at first and second with one out. Manager John Schneider took the baseball from LHP Alonzo Gonzalez and summoned righty Zack Jackson from the bullpen. David Rodriguez pulled one on the ground and reached base on Juan Kelly's throwing error allowing Padlo to score. Nathaniel Lowe came forward to hit next and bounced a single back up the middle to score Angel Moreno to cut the Blue Jays lead to 3-2.
The Stone Crabs attempted to tie the game in the top of the ninth. LHP Kirby Snead struck out the first hitter David Olmedo-Barerra and walked the next three hitters Angel Moreno, David Rodriguez, and Nathaniel Lowe to load the bases with one out. RHP Jackson McClelland came out of the bullpen for a pitching change and induced a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of Peter Maris to end the ballgame and give the Jays the 3-2 victory.
RHP Jordan Romano got the start for Dunedin picking up his first win since July 19th, throwing five solid innings, striking out two and throwing 63 pitches. RHP Jose De Leon, like Odorizzi was pitching for Charlotte on rehab and hurled four innings, surrending one run on five hits. Meanwhile with two more hits tonight, D.J. Davis is now 4-6 in the series with a double and a run scored.
With the win, Dunedin has now won six of their last seven games and 10 of their 11 at home since July 19th to bumb their home record to 18-3 in second half play. The series continues tomorrow with Charlotte at 6:30 p.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium for game three of the four game set. LHP Brock Burke (2-4, 5.23) will get the start for Charlotte. RHP Josh DeGraaf (5-1, 2.58) will counter for Dunedin.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.