TAMPA - The Tampa Yankees (7-7) started a six-game home stand with a win over the Clearwater Threshes (8-6), 9-4, as the T-Yanks clinched a series win on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Despite a season-high five fielding errors, Tampa pitching kept the game in reach and forced Clearwater to leave 11 men on base.
A two-run first gave the Threshers an early lead. RHP Jonathan Holder got the start for Tampa and surrendered an RBI single by Andrew Knapp. Later, Knapp scored on an error by Tyler Wade at shortstop, giving Clearwater a 2-0 lead.
Holder would not allow another run. The right-hander let two runs (one earned) score on four hits and a walk in four innings of work, striking out as season-high seven along the way.
The T-Yanks rallied to take the lead against Threshers' starter Victor Arano in the fifth. With Danny Oh at first, Ericson Leonora crushed an RBI double off the base of the wall in right field. Leonora later scored on Mark Payton's slap double to right. An errant pickoff attempt by Arano moved Payton to third and Wade gave Tampa the lead with a single into center.
Arano (0-1) allowed three runs on five hits in five innings. The righty walked one and struck out one in his first start since being activated off the disabled list today.
RHP Giovanny Gallegos (2-0) earned the win for the Yankees after pitching two scoreless relief innings. Gallegos worked around a pair of hits and a hit batter while striking out one.
A five-run seventh gave Tampa plenty of insurance. Danny Oh, Leonora, Angelo Gumbs and Payton strung together four singles. Miguel Andujar would later walk, loading the bases. Matt Snyder followed with a two-run single into center. Andujar then scored on a passed ball by catcher Willians Astudillo.
Clearwater cut into the lead with two runs in the eight, but Tampa managed a run in the home half with a bases-loaded walk by Wade.
Mark Payton (3-for-4, BB) reached base four times, scored twice and finished a home run shy of the cycle. Leonora (3-for-4) collected an RBI double and also scored a pair of runs. Oh drew two walks and scored three runs, going 1-for-2. Wade (2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB) now has at least two hits in seven of his last eight games, hitting .400 in that span.
Up next, the Yankees welcome Daytona for a three-game series beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday. RHP Eric Ruth (0-0, 4.50 ERA) gets the nod for Tampa and RHP Amir Garrett (0-0, 5.40 ERA) starts for the Tortugas. Every Thursday Tampa Yankees home game, fans can enjoy Throwback Prices: $2 Reserved Tickets and $1 General Admission Tickets. There will also be 14 oz. Ice Cold Draft Beer for $2 and $1 small sodas from 6:00-8:00pm. Silver Sluggers members receive FREE admission.