Rodriguez, Tortugas stay alive in FSL Finals

Reds No. 23 prospect collects two hits, three RBIs in Game 3

Alfredo Rodriguez has hit safely in five of six postseason games for Daytona. (Gordon Donovan/MiLB.com)

By Daren Smith / MiLB.com | September 9, 2018 10:25 PM

The Daytona Tortugas don't go down without a fight.

Reds No. 23 prospect Alfredo Rodriguez tripled, singled and drove in three runs as the Tortugas overcame a pair of homers from Royce Lewis and avoided a sweep in the Florida State League Championship Series with a 6-2 victory over Fort Myers on Sunday at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.


Gameday box score


Alberti Chavez contributed a pair of RBI singles off the bench for Daytona, which hosts Game 4 on Monday.

"We've got no pressure at all. All the pressure's on them," Tortugas manager Ricky Gutierrez told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. "They've got the lead, they're supposed to close it up. We're going to just keep fighting and having fun."

Battling from behind is nothing new for Gutierrez's team, which dropped the opener of the best-of-3 North Division Finals before winning two games in a row to eliminate Clearwater.

Daytona never trailed on Sunday as sixth-ranked Reds prospect Tyler Stephenson hit an RBI double in the first inning. Rodriguez singled home Bruce Yari in the fourth, but Lewis -- MLB.com's No. 10 overall prospect -- drilled a solo shot off Tortguas starter Tejay Antone (1-0) in the sixth to get the Miracle within 2-1.

Chavez, who replaced second baseman Randy Ventura in the top of the inning, restored Daytona's two-run lead with an RBI single in the bottom half. And after Lewis belted his third homer in two games in the eighth, Chavez again answered with a run-scoring single.


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"I don't have any problem bringing him in. I don't second-guess it," Gutierrez told the newspaper.

Gutierrez capped the Tortugas' three-run eighth with a two-run triple and is tied for second in the league with five postseason RBIs. 

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Lewis' first homer was the only run allowed by Antone, who gave up four hits and two walks while striking out two over seven innings. 

"I was trying to mess with his timing a little bit, doing a quick pitch. He didn't like that too much," Antone said of the top Twins prospect. "He jabbed at me a little bit after he hit the home run, and it fired me up. I let him know that's not going to fly."

Miracle starter and Twins No. 4 prospect Brusdar Graterol (0-1) was reached for two runs on seven hits over five innings, walking one and fanning six.

Daren Smith is an editor for MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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