Clearwater, FL - The Dunedin Blue Jays scored the winning run on a passed ball in the top of the 13th inning and evened the series with a 7-6 victory over the Clearwater Threshers at Bright House Field on Friday night.
The rally for the Jays in the 13th started with two out, when Anthony Alford singled on a chopper over the mound. Dickie Joe Thon followed with a single the other way to right and L.B. Dantzler walked to load the bases. With Matt Dean at the plate, catcher Chase Numata had a fastball up and in go off his glove to bring home Alford with the decisive run. It was Numata's 11th passed ball of the season.
Down 4-0 early, the D-Jays rallied to eventually take a 5-4 lead in the eighth on Matt Dean's second home run in as many nights against Clearwater. The bomb, hit to the opposite field in right, was his 14th of the season and tied him for the league lead with Clearwater's Andrew Pullin.
The Jays scored their first run on the first home run of the season for Boomer Collins, a solo shot leading off the fifth. Then, in the sixth, the Jays scored three times to tie the game on four doubles. Alford, Dantzler, Andy Fermin, and Collins provided the two-baggers. It was the final one by Collins, the first batter that reliever Jesen Therrien faced, that tied the game.
Leading 5-4 into the bottom of the ninth and Arik Sikula trying to close it out for Dunedin, the league's leading hitter, Willians Astudillo, was called on to pinch hit. He hit a routine grounder to second, but Christian Vazquez, playing in his first game with the D-Jays, committed an error that allowed Clearwater to tie the game.
The D-Jays went in front again in the 11th, as they drew three walks against their former teammate Alberto Tirado. The base-on-balls to Mike Reeves with the bases loaded put the Jays up, 6-5. However, Clearwater tied the game again on Malquin Canelo's RBI triple, before the Jays rally in the 13th finally put away the Threshers.
Griffin Murphy recorded his first save of the season, after picking up 16 last year with Lansing. Nate Abel (1-0) tossed three innings in his Dunedin debut to earn the win. Yacksel Rios (6-5) took the loss in relief for Clearwater.
The series continues tomorrow night at Bright House Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 ET and the action can be heard on DunedinBlueJays.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.