JUPITER, Fla. — 3B Braylin Minier garnered a pair of singles and drove in two in the top of the seventh to give Daytona the lead. However, DH Elijah Cabell's three-run home run for Palm Beach in the bottom of the inning proved to be the difference, as the Cardinals withstood the Daytona Tortugas, 5-3, on Thursday night at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
Scoreless through two, Daytona (19-36, 48-72) jumped in front first. LF Blake Dunn (1-3, 2 R, BB, SO) scorched a single to left to start the inning and, two pitches later, 1B Wendell Marrero (1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SO) whacked a double over the leaping glove of the first baseman. Dunn chugged around to score from first, giving the Tortugas a 1-0 edge, but Marrero was thrown out trying to stretch the double into a triple.
Daytona nursed the one-run advantage until Palm Beach (33-23, 63-57) tied it up in the bottom of the sixth. Following a pitching change, Cabell (1-2, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SO) coaxed a leadoff walk, but a line drive to left and a ground ball to second only advanced the runner to second. RF Joshua Báez (2-4, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) provided a big extra-base hit for the third-straight day, keeping a double just fair down the left-field line. Cabell scored on the two-bagger to knot it at one.
In the top of the seventh, the Tortugas found an answer. Daytona had the bases empty and two out, but three-straight walks to DH Cade Hunter (0-3, R, BB, SO), Dunn, and Marrero loaded the bases and forced a call to the bullpen.
On the seventh pitch of his battle, Minier (2-4, 2 RBI, 2 SO) stung a worm burner up the middle that was corralled by the shortstop to his left. In an attempt to rush the throw, the infielder dropped the ball. Two runs scored on the 105 mph infield single, gracing Daytona with a 3-1 advantage.
The lead did not last, though. C Jimmy Crooks (1-4, R, 2B, SO) and 2B Brody Moore (2-4, R, 2B, RBI) powered consecutive doubles to start the bottom of the seventh for the Cardinals, quickly trimming the Tortugas' lead to one, 3-2.
Following 3B Michael Curialle's (1-4, R, 2 SO) one-out single that placed men at the corners, Cabell stepped in and jumped ahead in the count quickly, 2-0. The Florida State University alum hammered the next offering at 110 mph beyond the right-center field wall for a three-run home run. Cabell's three-run blast — his seventh of the year — snapped an 0-for-17 slide at the plate and put Palm Beach ahead, 5-3.
The best chance to counter for Daytona came in the top of the eighth. SS Edwin Arroyo (0-3, BB) and RF Yerlin Confidan (0-3, BB, 2 SO) worked walks to put the tying runs on base, but a swinging strikeout quelled the rally.
Both starters shined on Thursday, but neither received a decision. RHP José Acuña (5.0 IP, H, 4 SO) posted arguably his best start for the Tortugas since coming over in the July trade with the New York Mets, tying a career-best in innings pitched (5.0) and facing just two batters over the minimum. Cardinals' RHP Trent Baker (6.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 7 SO) recorded his fourth-straight start allowing one run or fewer.
LHP Nelfri Contreras (1.1 IP, H, 2 BB, 3 SO) permitted two of his three inherited runners to cross for Palm Beach but did not allow any of his baserunners to score, earning his fifth win. RHP D.J. Carpenter (1.0 IP, 2 SO) retired the side in order in the ninth to garner his first career save.
RHP Kevin Abel (3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO) whiffed five but was saddled with his third defeat for Daytona.
The Tortugas will try and snap the three-game slide on Friday night. RHP Carson Rudd (2-0, 2.12) is scheduled to make his second start of the season for Daytona. Palm Beach is projected to counter with RHP Hancel Ríncon (2-4, 5.70). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:15 p.m. leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
The Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, September 6, to open up their final homestand of the 2022 regular season against the Tampa Tarpons, the Florida State League affiliate of the New York Yankees. The series opens with another Shell Yeah Cookout. The $15 add-on includes the full “Bases Loaded” menu during a 90-minute buffet with hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled pork, baked beans, cookies, Pepsi products, and more. It is also a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don unique pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Silver Sluggers Night presented by Conviva is a part of the festivities. The exclusive 60-and-older club features deals at the team store, concession stands for members, and more. The series opener also marks a Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.
ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.