Yankees strike first in FSL Finals

Tampa's patience pays off as Charlotte issues 11 walks

Josh Romanski was 8-4 at Class A Charleston before his promotion. (Mark LoMoglio/MiLB.com)

By Alex Raskin / Special to MLB.com | September 10, 2010 8:04 PM

After watching his team strike out three times in the first two innings Friday, Tampa Yankees manager Torre Tyson implored his players to show some patience.

"It was kind of an obvious," he said. "We had gotten ourselves out the first two innings swinging at some bad pitches. I told the guys that we need to be a little bit more disciplined."

The Yankees complied and drew 11 walks en route to a 5-2 victory over the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Game 1 of the Florida State League Championship Series.

"There were some guys that struggled getting the ball in the zone tonight," Tyson said of the Stone Crabs. "Their starter (Deivis Mavarez) gave us a different look, a submarine-type guy. He's dragging those knuckles, you know. We hadn't seen that this year. Once we saw that enough, we were able to work him and get into their 'pen."

Tampa's patience started to pay off in the third when Mavarez issued back-to-back walks before left fielder Kyeong Kang's error produced the game's first run. Myron Leslie and Addison Maruszak followed with RBI singles and Leslie scored on Trent Lockwood's groundout to make it 4-0.

"I think we're continuing to get some clutch hits from guys," Tyson said. "Nobody is really swinging the bats well right now, aside from (Bradley) Suttle. We got to get the snowball going as far as the contagious hitting. If we can start hitting, with the pitching and the bullpen we're putting in right now, we can make a run."

As Charlotte's pitching was deteriorating, Tampa's was getting stronger.

Josh Romanski (1-0) yielded two runs on four hits while striking out six over six innings. After Matt Hall led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo shot, the 23-year-old left-hander retired the next six batters.

"Josh came up big tonight," Tyson said. "The rain had dampened everything. The mound had gotten a little slippery. The longer the game went on, he got a better feel."

Jake Jefferies also went deep in the fifth, but that was all Charlotte was able to muster.

Preston Claiborne followed Romanski and pitched two perfect innings before Jonathan Ortiz sealed the victory with a scoreless ninth.

Mavarez (0-1) was charged with four runs -- two earned -- on four hits and five walks in two-plus innings. Jefferies also doubled for the Stone Crabs, who host Game 2 on Saturday night.

Alex Raskin is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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