DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A change of scenery was the magic elixir to snap a season-long-tying five-game losing streak for the Tortugas. DH Ruben Ibarra clubbed a two-run home run in the fourth and 1B Jack Rogers added a three-run blast in the fifth, as Daytona outmaneuvered the Fort Myers
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A change of scenery was the magic elixir to snap a season-long-tying five-game losing streak for the Tortugas. DH Ruben Ibarra clubbed a two-run home run in the fourth and 1B Jack Rogers added a three-run blast in the fifth, as Daytona outmaneuvered the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 5-2, in front of 1,579 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Scoreless through three-and-a-half innings, CF Jay Allen II (1-4, R) singled through the left side of the infield to start the fourth for Daytona (20-31). After advancing to second on a ground out, the 19-year-old stole third for his team-leading 23rd swipe of the campaign.
On a 2-0 offering, Ibarra (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO) hit a missile to left-center field. The 425-foot line shot sailed beyond the fence for a two-run home run. The Watsonville, Calif. native's fifth long ball of the campaign put the Tortugas in front, 2-0.
Fort Myers (34-17) made sure to respond loudly in the fifth. With the bases empty and two out, RF Kala'i Rosario (2-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) powered a towering drive beyond the batting cages in left for a solo home run. The right-handed swinger's fifth homer of the season pulled the Mussels within a run, 2-1.
Daytona made sure to counter with another clout of their own in the bottom half of the inning. SS Ilvin Fernández (1-4, R) slapped a single to start the frame and advanced to second when Fort Myers was unable to register an out on a fielder's choice.
After a fly out to center, Rogers (1-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SO) stepped into the box with men at first and second. On a 3-1 delivery, the Spring, Texas resident lofted a drive to the roof of the batting cages in left for a three-run homer. Rogers' first blast as a Tortuga — and his first of the season — extended Daytona's lead to four, 5-1.
The Mighty Mussels were able to muster one last rally in the ninth. C Noah Cardenas (0-3, R) was plunked, while 2B Mikey Perez (1-4, 2 SO) and Rosario earned singles to load the bases with two out. After a throwing error allowed a run to score, a soft fly ball to left was reeled in for the final out of the Tortugas' 5-2 victory.
RHP Javi Rivera (5.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 8 SO) tallied one of the best starts of his young professional career on Tuesday. The 22-year-old punched out a career-high eight batters over a career-long-tying five frames, garnering his second win of the season.
RHP Tanner Cooper (4.0 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 2 SO) took the baton from Rivera and closed out the contest. The Farmington, N.Y. native permitted one unearned run in the ninth, collecting his first save of the year.
LHP Steve Hajjar (2.0 IP, 2 SO) retired all six batters he faced in his start for Fort Myers, but appeared to leave after two frames with an apparent injury. LHP John Wilson (2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, SO) permitted a season-high five runs and suffered his first loss in relief.
Fans are advised to arrive with an empty stomach as the series continues with a Belly Buster Wednesday presented by Marco’s Pizza. A long-standing fan favorite, starting at just $14, patrons will receive a bracelet and may indulge in all-you-can-eat hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and popcorn at concession stands all evening long.
The Tortugas will attempt to make it two-in-a-row, as RHP José Franco (1-2, 4.93) is expected to make the start. RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 3.31) — Minnesota's No. 18 prospect per Baseball America — projects to get the ball for Mighty Mussels. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
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.