TAMPA, Fla. (July 16, 2017) - The Florida Fire Frogs entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead, but left the frame in a 6-2 deficit on Sunday afternoon, as the visitors continued to struggle to find answers against the Tampa Yankees during the 2017 season. Florida dropped game two of the three-game series at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 6-4, to fall to 0-9 against their Florida State League North rival.
Josh Graham (1-3) set the Yankees down in order and had a chance of keeping the home team off the board in the seventh after striking out both Austin Aune and Sharif Othman after Alex Palma singled to lead off the frame, but the wheels came off for the right-hander with two outs.
Angel Aguilar and Jeff Hendrix pieced together back-to-back RBI knocks to give Tampa (12-9, 51-40) the 3-2 advantage. After a walk to Gosuke Katoh, Nock Solak and Tim Lynch kept the line moving with RBI singles to stretch the deficit to 5-2 and end the day for Graham.
Corbin Clouse allowed an inherited runner to score when Kyle Holder singled to right to score Solak for the fifth run of the frame.
Clouse did work a scoreless eighth to stretch his scoreless-innings streak to 19.2.
Florida (9-13, 34-54) grabbed the early lead against Ian Clarkin (4-4) in the second with a solo tally. Carlos Castro (1x4, R) singled to start the inning, and stretch his hitting streak to six games. Brett Cumberland (1x3, BB) followed with a single to right to push the runner into scoring position.
Andrew Daniel (0x4) bounded into a double play that advanced Castro to third, and Matt Gonzalez (2x4, RBI) drove the runner hoe with a bloop single to center and the 1-0 lead.
The Fire Frogs added an insurance run in the third with a sacrifice fly to center off the bat of Alex Jackson (1x3, R, HR, 3 RBI), plating Ray-Patrick Didder (2x3, 2 R, 2B) for the two-run advantage.
Jackson's two-run home run off the pole in left in the eighth against Jordan Foley brought the Fire Frogs within two heading into the final frame.
Palma cut Florida's lead in half with a solo home run over the wall in left in the fourth against Enderson Franco . The long ball would be the only blemish on the Fire Frogs' starter's line, as the right-hander yielded the one run on three hits, three walks and four strikeouts in the no-decision.
Florida will look to avoid the sweep in the finale of the three-game set on Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. LHP Oriel Caicedo (0-0, 6.75) goes for the Fire Frogs in game three against the Yankees' RHP Erik Swanson (1-2, 3.73). First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.
Florida returns to Osceola County Stadium for a seven-game homestand starting Tuesday, July 18, with game one featuring another matchup against Lakeland. Game one of the three-game series will be "Fire Rum Tuesday" at the ballpark, where fans can enjoy $3 Fire Rum mixed drinks and $2 tostones. Every Monday through Wednesday game at Osceola County Stadium is "Service Industry Night," where members of the service industry can access the home stadium of the Florida Fire Frogs at a discounted rate.
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.