The Dunedin Blue Jays (2-1) set a new season-high in hits and runs scored in their home opener at Dunedin Stadium, starting their 2018 home slate strong with a 6-1 victory over the Clearwater Threshers (1-2).
The big blows came in the third inning with 3B Bradley Jones hitting a towering two-run home run to left field that was immediately followed by a solo shot off the bat of C Riley Adams.
For Adams, a 3rd round pick in last year's draft, the home run was his first in the Florida State League.
"It was a 3-0 count and Casey (Candaele) gave me the green light to go, so I was just going to look for that pitch right over the middle of the plate. He threw it there and I didn't miss," Adams said of his homer, a line drive off the batter's eye in straightaway center field.
The back-to-back homers put Dunedin up 3-1, and RHP Patrick Murphy cruised with the lead, throwing 5.0 innings and allowing one run on just three hits while striking out three.
"He was really good," Adams said of his battery mate. "At times, his fastball command wasn't there, but he really battled. With runners on base, he was getting outs. His curveball is always there, and we worked his changeup in. When things went bad, he went back to his fastball and commanded it really well."
After the homers, the Blue Jays kept adding to their lead. CF Rodrigo Orozco doubled with one out in the fourth, stole third, and came in to score on a sacrifice fly by 2B Yeltsin Gudino. DH Logan Warmoth led off the fifth with a single and came in to score on a double off the bat of DH Nash Knight. Back up in the sixth, Orozco singled, his second of three hits on the day, advanced to third on a wild pitch and a ground out, and scored on a sac fly by RF Joshua Palacios.
With the lead stretched to 6-1, the Blue Jays bullpen delivered 4.0 shutout innings. RHP William Ouellette tossed two scoreless, and RHP Jake Fishman and RHP Jackson McClelland combined to strike out four over the game's final two innings.
The win improves Dunedin's record to 2-1 on the season with one game remaining in their four-game home/road set with Clearwater. The two teams will finish off their season-opening set tomorrow at 1:00pm at Dunedin Stadium with RHP Josh DeGraaf on the mound for the Blue Jays.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.