Bradenton, FL.---RHP Aaron Shortridge (7-4) notched his fourth win in his last five outings and lead Bradenton to the 4-1 win at LECOM Park on Thursday night.
Shortridge picked up from where he left off against the Blue Jays last Saturday with an eight-inning gem this evening. The righty completed eight innings in just 90 pitches and departed having retired nine in a row.
Bradenton's offense, which struck out 15 times the night before, scored three early runs off RHP Kyle Johnston (0-2). In the bottom of the second, Deon Stafford and Raul Hernandez both singled to put two runners aboard and advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Rodolfo Castro stepped to the plate next and smacked a single passed the diving Clemens at first and into right to score two runs. Later in the inning, Castro came home to score from third on a wild pitch to put the Marauders up 3-0.
Raul Hernandez drove in another Bradenton run in the third with a single to make it 4-0 in favor of the home team. On the flip side, the Blue Jays managed a single from Alejandro Kirk and Kacy Clemens and a solo homerun in the ninth from Chavez Young as their offensive output.
Game two of the four game series between Dunedin and Bradenton had no shortage of offense as the two
teams combined to hit six homeruns. In the end though, it was a two-homer night, a clutch two run triple, and a scoreless outing from the bullpen that helped Dunedin win their 66th game of the season at snatch the top spot back in the Florida State League North Division standings.
LHP Nick Allgeyer (9-5) started for Dunedin and came in looking for his second consecutive win against Bradenton. Allgeyer tossed five innings, giving up three homeruns; the first of which came in off the bat of Lucas Tancas who opened the scoring in the second. Samad Taylor answered though with his sixth bomb of the year to left in the top of the third off Bradenton's starter RHP Brad Case (3-4).
Meanwhile, Alejandro Kirk came into the evening without a home run in a Dunedin uniform but changed the complexion of the game with a solo shot in the third to tie the game at two apiece. In his next at-bat, and with Dunedin down by three, Alejandro laced a two run shot to center to pull the Blue Jays to within one. It was the first time in Kirk's career he's hit two home runs in a game.
Fast forward to the top of the sixth, Bradenton summoned LHP Braden Ogle out of the pen to relieve Case who had just completed five innings. The southpaw gave up a leadoff single to Ryan Noda , and walked Kacy Clemens. After a double steal that put runners at second and third, Reggie Pruitt smashed a rocket up the alley in right-center for a two-run triple to give the D-Jays their first lead of the game and series. Nick Podkul followed suit with an RBI Sacrifice Fly to give the Blue Jays a 7-5 lead.
The bullpen mixture of righties Emerson Jimenez and Jackson Rees shut the Marauders offense down with four scoreless innings, and allowing just two hits from the sixth inning. After a brief 46-minute delay because of rain, Rees closed the door in the ninth to send Dunedin to the 7-5 win and snap a small three game skid.
After a rainout on Saturday, Bradenton and Dunedin were forced to play a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. While the Blue Jays have played in their fair share of twin bills in 2019, the situation wasn't ideal in trying to win the first series since July 11th. In the end, a solid start in game one and a come-from-behind victory in game two led the way to a doubleheader sweep for the D-Jays at LECOM Park on Sunday afternoon.
RHP Josh Winckowski made his first start off the Injured List and was looking to snap a personal four game losing streak. The righty tossed five innings, and struck out five. In the top of the second, Demi Orimoloye slashed a single to left. That brought in Kevin Vicuna who pulled a single to left, and with Orimoloye running on the pitch, was able to advance into third. Daniel Amaral's throw from left was wide of third and skipped behind the plate to allow Orimoloye to score on the throwing error. Samad Taylor then pushed a grounds-rule double to right to score Vicuna to make it 2-0 Dunedin.
Coming off a two homer game, Alejandro Kirk sprayed a double down the right-field line in third to score Reggie Pruitt to give the Blue Jays the 3-0 lead. Despite a two-run rally by Bradenton in the fifth, RHP Sean Rackoski notched the six out save with two scoreless out of the bullpen.
A squandered lead and a furious comeback in game two led the way for a Dunedin 7-5 win. With Dunedin up 4-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Bradenton loaded the bases after three straight singles from Adrian Valerio , Travis Swaggerty , and Daniel Amaral. Professional Baseball's RBI leader Mason Martin stepped in and smashed a grand slam to right to give the Marauders their first lead of the game at 5-4.
In the top of the seventh, RHP Nick Mears was summoned out of the bullpen to try and pick up the save and doubleheader split. Nick Podkul kick-started the rally with a slicing double to right-center. Chavez Young followed with a triple down the left-field line to tie the game. Ryan Noda hammered a single to center and came around to score on Demi Orimoloye's sacrifice fly to give the D-Jays the 7-5 lead.
RHP Jackson Rees wiggled out of a first and second jam in the seventh to shut the door and lead Dunedin to their 68th win of the season. Next up, the Blue Jays travel back to Spectrum Field to take on the Clearwater Threshers for game one a four game series. The first pitch is set for 1:00 E.T. with live play-by-play coverage beginning at 12:45 E.T. across the Dunedin Blue Jays Baseball Network powered by TuneIn.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.