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Blandino goes deep again, 'Tugas snap skid

Daytona scores seven unanswered runs after falling behind 2-0
April 25, 2015

Tampa, FL - The Daytona Tortugas (10-6) picked up their second road win of the season and snapped a two-game skid with a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Yankees (9-8) on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. 

The Yankees struck first with a pair of runs in the fourth off RHP Jackson Stephens on an RBI single from Kyle Higashioka and a run-scoring double from Ericson Leonora. Stephens was quickly picked up by the Tortugas offense, which plated three runs in the fifth to quickly grab the lead.

After RHP Rookie Davis (L, 1-1) threw four no-hit innings with six strikeouts, Daytona made the proper adjustments to break through. 1B Robert Ramirez singled to start the fifth, and stole second base before RF Jeff Gelalich drew a walk. 2B Sammy Diaz then laid down a bunt toward the mound. Davis tried to get the lead runner at third, but threw wildly past Miguel Andujar and allowed Ramirez to score Daytona's first run. The next batter was C Cam Maron, who singled through the right side to tie the game at 2-2. 

After a strikeout and a fly out, SS Alex Blandino came through with a two-out, go-ahead single to right center field. The Tortugas took a 3-2 lead, and never trailed again.

Stephens allowed two runs on five hits with four walks and two strikeouts in five innings. He was replaced by RHP El'Hajj Muhammad (W, 2-0) who tossed 1.1 hitless frames. RHP Barrett Astin (H, 2) was just as impressive, surrendering just one unearned run in 2.1 innings.

Andrew Bailey was brought in to pitch the sixth, and was greeting by a leadoff homer from DH Sebastian Elizalde, his second of the season. 3B Taylor Sparks then went to work. He singled, stole second base, moved to third on a throwing error by Higashioka, and scored on a wild pitch from Evan Rutckyj. The Tortugas took a 5-2 lead into the seventh, where Blandino put the nail in the coffin. With Maron on first, he drilled a hanging breaking ball over the left field fence for his second homer in as many nights.

The Yankees scratched across another run in the eighth to make it 7-3, and put two men on base in the ninth, but LHP Nolan Becker and RHP Zack Weiss (S, 3) pieced together the final three outs to get Daytona its second road win in seven tries this season.

Maron went 2-for-3 with a walk to raise his average to .304, joining Blandino and Elizalde as Tortugas with two-hit nights.

The Tortugas will head to Dunedin to start the second half of their three-game road trip with a 1 p.m. matchup with the Blue Jays. RHP Nick Travieso is scheduled to make his fourth start.