The Blue Jays prevailed in a back-and-forth battle with the Charlotte Stone Crabs at home on Monday night on a Josh Almonte walk-off single that scored Andrew Guillotte from second base to give Dunedin a 5-4 win and move the team within one game of first place in the Florida State League North Division.
"Wins are always good no matter when you can get them, but especially against a good team like Charlotte. It's good momentum going into the rest of the series," Guillotte said after the game about the team's win. Guillotte was 3-4 on the day and scored a pair of runs, including the game-winner, effectively breaking out of a slump that had left him with a .162 batting average in his last ten games entering today.
"I kind of lost my way during the series against Bradenton and Tampa, so I'm starting to get back into it and trust myself more again. I got back to what I was doing against good teams," Guillotte said about his big day.
On the mound for Dunedin, starter Jordan Romano struggled with his control, throwing just 29 of his 55 pitches for strikes, but allowed just one unearned run in three innings.
"When you don't have your best stuff out there, it all comes down to competing. You've got to compete harder than when you've got your good stuff, battle every pitch, and try to get through with what you have," Romano said post-game about his outing.
RHP Connor Eller relieved Romano in the fourth and provided the Jays with three hitless innings of relief. With Eller putting zeroes on the board, Dunedin tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by 1B Matt Dean and took the lead in the fifth when C Max Pentecost followed a SS Troy Tulowitzki RBI single with a towering home run off the scoreboard in left-center.
Charlotte battled back into the game in the seventh, putting three runs on the board off of Dunedin RHP Adonys Cardona . Cardona allowed just one hit, but three walks and two wild pitches allowed the Stone Crabs to score a trio of runs. LHP Daniel Young helped the Jays escape from the inning, striking out Brandon Lowe with a runner on to end the frame. Young tossed a scoreless eighth, but the lead didn't hold in the ninth as David Olmedo-Barrero hit a solo home run leading off the inning to tie the game against RHP Ryan Cook .
Guillotte led the bottom of the ninth off with a single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by 2B Cavan Biggio . Almonte, who had entered the game in the fifth in Tulowitzki's place, hit a high-bounding ground ball to the right side that bounced into right field, allowing Guillotte to score from second and giving Dunedin the 6-5 win.
"It's been really cool being able to play with these guys for the last two, three years now. It's been building for years now, so our chemistry is awesome. We all know each of us can play, how we play, and our strengths and weaknesses. It's been fun," Guillotte said about the team's chemistry and morale following the big win and the variety of different players that have contributed to the team's success this season.
The Blue Jays (21-17) will be in action again tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM against the Stone Crabs (18-19). LHP Angel Perdomo will be on the mound in the early match-up with RHP Jose De Leon looking to continue Dunedin's three-game winning streak.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.