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Daytona and St. Lucie split Sunday doubleheader

Three pitchers combine on two-hit shutout in game one; Fernández clubs homer in nightcap
RHP José Franco struck out a season-high nine batters over four innings, taking a no-decision in the Tortugas' 4-0 victory over the Mets in game one of Sunday's doubleheader. St. Lucie squeaked out a 2-1 triumph over Daytona in the nightcap before 1,239 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. (Aldrin Capulong)
July 10, 2022

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — RHP José Franco, RHP Luis Mey, and LHP Jayvien Sandridge combined to strike out 14 hitters in Daytona's two-hit shutout of St Lucie in game one. However, SS Ilvin Fernández's home run was not enough in the nightcap, as the Tortugas snatched the opener, 4-0, and

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — RHP José Franco, RHP Luis Mey, and LHP Jayvien Sandridge combined to strike out 14 hitters in Daytona's two-hit shutout of St Lucie in game one. However, SS Ilvin Fernández's home run was not enough in the nightcap, as the Tortugas snatched the opener, 4-0, and dropped the finale, 2-1, in front of 1,239 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.

Daytona (5-10, 34-46) took advantage of several St. Lucie (8-7, 48-32) miscues in the bottom of the second. The Tortugas loaded the bases with one out on singles from 3B Austin Callahan (1-3, R) and C Wilfred Astudillo (1-2, R, BB), as well as a walk to DH Hayden Jones (0-2, R, BB, SO).

However, Daytona did not need a base hit to take the lead. Two wild pitches with CF Fidel Castro (1-3, 2 SO) at the plate enabled a pair of runners to score, giving the Tortugas a 2-0 lead. Following a strike out, another errant pitch enabled another tally to come across, clearing the bases, and stretching the advantage to three.

In the fifth, the Tortugas added an insurance run in a rather bizarre way. SS Steven Leyton (1-3, R, 2B, SO) slapped a one-out double to right-center field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a ground out to third forced the runner to stay put, 1B Michel Triana (1-3, 3B, RBI) powered a drive to deep right field. The ball appeared to slam off the top of the fence, but the umpires initially signaled a home run.

After a brief discussion, the clout was ruled to not have left the ballpark. Triana was awarded a triple and an RBI, extending Daytona's cushion to 4-0.

That was more than enough run support for the Tortugas' pitching staff in the lid-lifter. Franco (4.0 IP, 2 H, 9 SO) put together one of his best starts of the season, striking out a season-high nine over four frames in a no-decision.

Mey (1.0 IP, 2 SO) tossed a perfect inning of relief in the fifth, ultimately earning his fourth victory. Sandridge (2.0 IP, 2 BB, 3 SO) walked the first two hitters he faced before retiring the final six hitters in a row to seal Daytona's two-hit win.

RHP Franklin Sánchez (1.0 IP, SO) hurled a spotless inning in his first appearance since being reinstated off the injured list on Saturday, taking a no-decision in his start for St. Lucie. RHP Robert Colina (0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, SO) was unable to escape the second inning, suffering his fourth loss of the year in relief.

In game two, it was another pitcher's duel out of the gate. Scoreless entering the home third, Fernández (1-2, R, HR, RBI) produced Daytona's first hit with a loud bang.

Behind in the count 0-2, the 20-year-old reached out and smashed a deep fly ball to left. Fernández's blast sailed out by the batting cages for a solo home run — his first of the year — putting the Tortugas in front, 1-0.

The lead did not last, though. With the bases empty and two out in the top of the fourth, 2B Warren Saunders (1-3, R, HR, RBI) hit a laser beam that lifted just high enough to sneak over the fence in left for a solo shot of his own. The Bahamas native's first home run since rejoining St. Lucie knotted the game at one.

On the very next pitch, LF Eduardo Salazar (1-3, R, 3B) swung late and stung a ground ball that just stayed fair over the first base bag and into the right-field corner. The right-handed swinger slid safely into third with a triple, later scoring on a wild pitch to put the Mets ahead, 2-1.

The Tortugas attempted a two-out rally in the seventh, but could not complete the comeback. Hayden Jones (1-1) stepped up as a pinch-hitter with two outs and flipped a single into right-center field. Alas, RHP Saúl González (2.0 IP, 2 BB, 3 SO) picked up a swinging strikeout to strand the tying run aboard, securing his first career save, and St. Lucie's 2-1 triumph.

RHP Jeffrey Colón (5.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 8 SO) picked up where he left off on Monday evening. The 22-year-old matched a career-best with eight strikeouts, allowing just one hit on the Fernández home run, to earn his second win of the series and the season.

Once more, RHP Chase Petty (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 SO) matched a career-high with five innings of two-run ball, but was, again, saddled with the defeat, his fourth.

Following the league-wide off day on Monday, the Tortugas will pack up for a six-game road trip against the Tampa Tarpons, the Florida State League affiliate of the New York Yankees, starting on Tuesday evening. Neither team has announced a probable starter for the series opener. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and at 6:15 p.m. leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from George M. Steinbrenner Field.

The Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday, July 22, to open up a three-game series against the Palm Beach Cardinals, the Florida State League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. It will be Margaritaville Night at the ballpark featuring Best Dressed Uniforms worn by Daytona's players and coaches that will be auctioned off throughout the rest of the season. There will also be special food and drink items at concession stands to mark the occasion. Prior to the first pitch, fans will also be able to enjoy Live Music from Mike and Vin on the third-base riverwalk. Friday Night Happy Hour comes back to the ballpark, too, with special discounts on select draft beers at the concession stands.

Multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.

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.