The Dunedin Blue Jays moved into sole possession of first place in the Florida State League North Division on Thursday night with a 7-1 win in their series finale against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Rehabbing All-Star SS Troy Tulowitzki drove in a run with a pair of line drive singles for the Blue Jays, finishing what is likely to be his final game in Dunedin 2-3 with a walk.
LHP Ryan Borucki started on the mound for Dunedin, and delivered 5.1 excellent innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits and striking out five to earn his first win of the season. Righties Jared Carkuff, Adonys Cardona, and Ryan Cook combined to throw 3.2 innings of shutout ball out of the bullpen to preserve the win.
The Stone Crabs scored first, pushing across a first inning run against Borucki on a double by Brandon Lowe and single by Jake Cronenworth. The Jays responded in the third, tying the game on Tulowitzki's single up the middle, scoring CF Andrew Guillotte from second. DH Max Pentecost followed with a single to score 2B Cavan Biggio, who had reached on a hit by pitch.
Leading 2-1 in the sixth, the Jays added two more runs. With two outs, C Mike Reeves reached on a bunt single. RF Josh Almonte followed with a walk. LF D.J. Davis hit a hard ground ball that eluded Stone Crabs first baseman Dalton Kelly, scoring Reeves from second. Consecutive walks to Guillotte and Biggio forced in the second run of the inning. Tulowitzki threatened to break the game open, hitting a long fly ball to the warning track in centerfield with the bases loaded, but a strong left to right wind in the stadium kept the ball in the ball park for the third out.
The Blue Jays put the game away in the eighth, scoring three more times. Singles by Almonte, Guillotte, and 3B Juan Kelly combined with walks to Davis and Pentecost, a wild pitch, and an RBI ground out led to the runs and the 7-1 final score.
Following the game, Tulowitzki reflected on his time with the Dunedin team.
"It seems like a talented group. It's cool to be with these guys. They want to learn and they love the game. I hope I answered some of the questions they had. Some were shy, some of them asked more questions. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I'll definitely keep up with the team."
The win tonight vaulted the Blue Jays into first place in the FSL North, a game ahead of both Clearwater and Daytona. The Blue Jays will travel to St. Lucie tomorrow for a three game series against the Mets hoping to preserve their spot in first place. RHP Conor Fisk will make his sixth start of the year in the opener on Friday night with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.