DAYTONA, Fla (Aug. 31, 2017) - The Florida Fire Frogs suffered their third doubleheader sweep with losses of 7-2 and 8-3 to the Daytona Tortugas at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Thursday night.
Daytona (18-48, 49-80) struck fast against Junior Rincon (1-1) with two runs against Florida's (23-38, 48-79) starter in the opening frame. With Alfredo Rodriguez at first, Rincon uncorked a wild pitch to Shane Mardirosian to move the runner up to second. Mardirosian bounced a ball to Carlos Castro at first that was misplayed by the first baseman, allowing Rodriguez to score.
Chris Okey followed two batters later with an RBI single to center, plating Mardirosian to put the visitors in a 2-0 hole.
Mardirosian added a run-scoring single in the second to stretch the Tortugas' lead to 3-0, before Alay Lago (2x3, RBI) smacked a single to right in the top of the third, pushing Stephen Gaylor (0x2, R) across the plate to pull the Fire Frogs within two.
Malik Collymore got the run back for Daytona with an RBI groundout. The home team broke the game open with a solo home run from Luis Gonzalez and a two-run shot off the bat of Blake Butler to extend Florida's deficit to six.
Rincon would last five innings in the spot start in game one, allowing all seven runs (five earned) on eight hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Brandon White allowed a hit and picked up a punchout in the sixth in his only inning of relief.
Juan Martinez (3-3) took a two-hitter into the seventh, but Matt Gonzalez (1x2, R, 2B) roped a double to center to leadoff the final frame. Ray-Patrick Didder (0x3) reached on an error by Gonzalez at third, allowing Gonzalez to score for the Fire Frogs' second run of the game.
Daytona's southpaw went the distance in game one, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits, a walk and three strikeouts. The 25-year-old is just the second opposing pitcher to toss a complete game against Florida this season.
Lago (2x3, R, HR, 2 RBI) kickstarted the Fire Frogs' offense in game two with a two-run homer in the top of the first for his sixth long ball of the season, but the Tortugas responded with three runs against Andres Santiago (2-6) in the bottom half of the inning.
Mardirosion singled with one out and moved up to third on Gonzalez's double to left. James Vasquez sent out a three-run home run to right to put Florida behind by a run.
Daytona added an insurance run in the third on a Gonzalez single to right, plating Mitch Piatnik. Florida crawled back within a run when Castro bounced into a double play, scoring Alejandro Salazar (2x4, 2 R) from third.
Santiago would be forced from the game in the fourth, after allowing three more runs to cross the plate to fall behind 7-3. The right-hander allowed seven runs (four earned) in 3.2 innings in the losing effort, on eight hits, two walks and a season-high, nine strikeouts.
Sean McLaughlin struck out four through 2.1 relief innings, while giving up a run on five hits and a free pass. The lone blemish came in the sixth on a wild pitch to Piatnik to score Brantley Bell for the eighth run in game two for the Tortugas.
Jake Paulson (4-4) earned the win in game two for Daytona, as the right-handed starter allowed three runs on seven hits and six strikeouts.
Lago's four hits through the twin bill raised the second baseman's average to .304, good for second amongst qualified batters in the Florida State League.
Florida looks to avoid dropping the series against Daytona in game three of the five-game set on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. 2017 first-round draft pick RHP Kyle Wright (0-1, 3.86) takes the mound for the Fire Frogs against the Tortugas' RHP Jonathan Crawford (0-10, 5.64). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
About the Florida Fire Frogs
The Florida Fire Frogs are the Advanced-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves and compete in the Florida State League. The Fire Frogs play their home games at Osceola County Stadium, located at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Fla. For more information, please visit www.FloridaFireFrogs.com, and follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.