The starting staff for Dunedin has posted a 2.45 ERA in the last 12 games and righty Joey Murray continued the trend with a six inning performance in Dunedin's 3-1 win.
Coming off a win last weekend against Florida, Murray tossed six innings, struck out eight, and at one point fanned six of eight from the second to the fifth.
The Blue Jays scratched across two runs in the top of the first. Logan Warmoth started the rally with a one out walk. Cullen Large smacked a single to left to put two aboard for Alejandro Kirk. Kirk checked into the game with a .365 batting average in a Dunedin uniform and delivered with a bouncer that snuck through into center for a hit allowing Warmoth to score from second. On the play, Matt Vierling attempted to thrown out Cullen Large going from first to third and the thrown skipped to the side wall on the third base side. Large popped up and scampered home for the second run and give the D-Jays the 2-0 lead.
The lone blemish on the line of Murray was a solo homerun that was smacked to left by Jack Scheiner in the fifth. But the bullpen combination of right-handers Connor Law and Dany Jimenez hurled three scoreless innings, scattering just two hits in the final three frames.
Cullen Large smacked a double over the leaping center-fielder Matt Vierling to move into scoring position in the top of the seventh. Alejandro Kirk laced a double down the right field line exchanging places and driving in Large to pad Dunedin's lead to 3-1 after six and a half.
The combination of Cullen Large and Alejandro Kirk out of the number three and four spots in the Blue Jays order combined to go six for eight with two runs driven in.
LHP Damon Jones stifled the bats of the Blue Jays as the Threshers even the three game series with a 3-0 win on Saturday evening. Jones retired the first 17 hitters he faced and was perfect through 5.2 innings until Ronny Brito slapped a single to left. The southpaw didn't waver though as he fanned a season high 11 in seven innings of work. The scoreless outing drops the season ERA of Jones to a league best 1.37 and Jones has now struck out 21 hitters in his last two starts.
Clearwater broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth against Dunedin starter Turner Larkins . With one out, Danny Mayer stepped in and drilled a homerun to left to give the Threshers the lead. Dalton Guthrie then singled and scored on Jake Scheiner's RBI double to the corner in left. Two hitters later, Alec Bohm served a groundball single through the hole on the right side that allowed Scheiner to score to bring the score to its' final.
Brito, Demi Orimoloye , and Logan Warmoth were the only offensive players for the Blue Jays to register a base knock in the game.
In the rubber match, the Blue Jays went up early thanks to a Chavez Young home run on a 1-0 pitch to right field in the 2nd inning. The Threshers answered right back with a single and a fielder's choice to make it 2-1. Clearwater added on a run in the 3rd and again in the 6th to keep the Blue Jays chasing the game all afternoon to try and scrape their way back in.
Down 4-1 after Maximo Castillo and Emerson Jimenez had pitched well through seven innings for Dunedin, the bats came alive late. Norberto Obeso doubled to score Christopher Bec to get the Blue Jays within 2 of the Threshers and have a chance at the series win still. A double by Cullen Large got two runners in scoring position with no outs for Ryan Noda. He was able to hit a ground ball to score Logan Warmoth, and a wild pitch with two outs in the inning score Cullen Large to tie the game up for the first time since the Blue Jays had a 1-0 lead in the 2nd.
The Blue Jays threatened again in the 9th with runners on the corners to try to take the lead in regulation, and on a 1-2 count to Ryan Noda, Cal Stevenson broke for the straight steal of home and a chance at the lead. Unfortunately, Stevenson was out at home, but it gave Ryan Noda a clean count if the game made it to extras. Kyle Weatherly kept the Threshers at bay in his two innings of work, giving up just one hit. The clean count for Ryan Noda then paid dividends in the first extra inning as he smashed a ground-rule double to score Cullen Large from second base. Brad Wilson finished off the game with his third save of the year, and the Blue Jays moved 4.5 games ahead in first place.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.