PORT ST. LUCIE — A gloomy night produced a gloomy result. St. Lucie erupted for five runs and sent all nine men to the plate in the first inning, spoiling LF Jack Rogers' two-hit night and RF Fidel Castro's first home run of the campaign, as the Mets mashed their way to a 10-4 victory over the Daytona Tortugas on Thursday night at Clover Park.
Things got off to a sour start, as CF Alex Ramírez (1-4, R, 3B, BB, SO) started the Mets' (32-16) home first with a walk and promptly stole second base. With C José Rivera (1-3, RBI, 2 BB, SO) at the plate, a 3-2 pitch was fouled down the right-field line toward the Daytona (19-29) bullpen. 1B Ruben Ibarra and RF Blake Dunn chased after it and collided while attempting to make the catch. After a brief pause, both players exited the game with apparent injuries on their power.
The first inning did not improve from there, as after Rivera flew out to right, LF Omar De Los Santos (2-5, R, 2 RBI, SO) put the Mets in front with a run-scoring single to center. Following a balk, RF Carlos Domínguez (1-5, R, RBI, 3 SO) made it a 2-0 contest on another RBI knock to left.
After a ground out advanced Domínguez to second, St. Lucie clubbed their first of four home runs on the night. 3B Justin Guerrera (2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI) blasted the second pitch he saw to the right over the videoboard in left-center field for a two-run blast. The Fairfield University alum's fourth of the season doubled the Mets' advantage to 4-0. A double to center from 1B Jack-Thomas Wold (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) and a run-creating single from 2B Junior Tilien (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI) capped the five-tally frame.
Daytona chipped off a run in the second. Rogers (2-3, 2 R, 2B, BB) led off the inning with a double into the gap in left-center and advanced to third on a single to right by SS Braylin Minier (1-4, SO). 3B Ilvin Fernández (1-2, RBI, 2 BB, SO) put the Tortugas on the board, scoring Rogers with a single to left.
St. Lucie hung another crooked number in the third. Leading off the inning, Guerrera powered another offering to a similar spot beyond the left-center field fence for his second home run of the game. The 2021 20th-round pick's fifth of the campaign made it a 6-1 affair.
Four pitches later, the following hitter, Wold, hooked a ball around the pole in right for a solo jack of his own. The former UNLV Runnin' Rebels' second home run of the year extended the Mets' advantage to 7-1. SS Kevin Villavicencio (2-4, 2 R) would single, advance to second on a ground out, and score on a single to right from Rivera to close out the three-run attack.
The Tortugas added another run on a Rogers-started rally in the fourth. The former ninth-round selection powered a 113-mph single into center and, two hitters later, came around to score on a double into the right-field corner by C-1B Wilfred Astudillo (1-4, 2B, RBI).
In the fifth, the Mets would snatch their final two runs of the night. Tilien banged a line drive off the batter's eye in center for a solo home run, his sixth of the campaign. St. Lucie took a 10-2 lead when De Los Santos brought in Villavicencio with a 109-mph grounder that deflected off the shortstop and into left field.
It was the Tortugas' turn to leave the yard in the seventh. C Hayden Jones (0-3, R, BB, 2 SO) coaxed a walk to start the inning and, after a strikeout, Castro (1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SO) sent a missile onto the berm in right-center for a two-run home run. The Santo Domingo, D.R. native's first home run with the club trimmed Daytona's deficit to 10-4.
RHP Joel Díaz (3.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 SO) took a no-decision in his second start with the Mets. RHP Franklin Sánchez (2.0 IP, 3 BB, 4 SO) – one of six arms used by St. Lucie — collected his first victory of the season with two innings of scoreless relief.
Tortugas RHP Arij Fransen (0.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, BB) was unable to escape the first and was saddled with his fifth defeat of 2022.
The 'Tugas will look to snap the slide on Friday with RHP Julian Aguiar (3-4, 4.21) expected to make the start. RHP Robert Colina (0-1, 2.25) projects to get the ball for the Mets. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 5:55 p.m. leading up to the 6:10 p.m. first pitch from Clover Park.
After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, June 7, to open up a series against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the Florida State League affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. It will be 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. It is also a Silver Sluggers Night by Conviva, featuring special team store and concession stand deals for members, plus more. The series opener features Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
Season tickets, 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.