The Dunedin Blue Jays (6-7) used stellar defense to stay in the game for eleven innings against the St. Lucie Mets (7-6), but their luck ran out in extras when the Mets strung together three hits and two walks for five runs in the eleventh inning to hand the Jays a 10-5 loss.
Without clutch defensive plays from CF Lane Thomas and 1B Juan Kelly, the Blue Jays would have fallen sooner Tuesday night. Thomas stopped a first-inning Mets rally by throwing out St. Lucie 3B Anthony Dimino at home from centerfield. Thomas threw out Dimino again in the third inning at third base and then rifled out Mets 1B Jhoan Urena at third in the fifth inning for his third assist of the game from the outfield.
With the game tied 5-5 in the tenth and runners at the corners with no outs, Kelly made a phenomenal diving snag on a line drive up the first base line to rob C Patrick Mazeika of extra bases and at least one RBI. Following an intentional walk, Blue Jays reliever Kender Villegas struck out consecutive batters to escape the bases loaded jam without any runs scoring.
The Blue Jays luck ran out the following inning when St. Lucie 3B Anthony Dimino tripled in a pair of runs. After a walk to the next hitter, Jhoan Urena put the game away with a three-run home run into the netting above the Blue Jays bullpen in rightfield.
Prior to the eleventh, the Blue Jays bullpen had thrown five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits. Villegas was charged with the loss, his first of the year, and Mets reliever Johnny Magliozzi picked up the win, his second.
The Blue Jays offense finished with double-digit hits for the second straight game. Their attack was led by RF Derrick Loveless who finished 4-6 with a pair of doubles. Those two doubles moved him past his own teammate Juan Kelly, who was 2-4 with a double of his own, for the Florida State League lead in two-base hits. To go along with his three assists in the outfield, Lane Thomas also had a pair of hits, including a triple. He now leads the FSL in triples (3).
The Blue Jays and Mets continue their four-game series tomorrow in Dunedin. LHP Angel Perdomo will take the mound for the Jays against RHP Thomas McIlraith.
Max Pentecost started the game behind the plate at catcher for Dunedin. After being taken in the first round (11th overall) of the 2014 draft by the Blue Jays, injuries cost him the entire 2015 season and have prevented him from playing behind the plate defensively. His last official game at catcher prior to tonight was on July 24, 2014.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.