Pitching Falters in Loss to Tarpons
TAMPA, Fla. — For the second straight night, the Marauders’ bullpen saw a lead slip away Friday en route to a 9-3 loss to the Tampa Tarpons at Steinbrenner Field. The loss dropped the Marauders (29-17, 58-53) to just 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Dunedin Blue Jays, who defeated
TAMPA, Fla. — For the second straight night, the Marauders’ bullpen saw a lead slip away Friday en route to a 9-3 loss to the Tampa Tarpons at Steinbrenner Field.
The loss dropped the Marauders (29-17, 58-53) to just 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Dunedin Blue Jays, who defeated Jupiter. The Tarpons (26-18, 52-58), who snapped a three-game losing streak, sit two games behind Bradenton.
The Marauders opened the scoring in the top of the third inning against Tarpons starter Joel Valdez. Tsung-Che Cheng reached base on a fielder’s choice, then stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jack Brannigan then walked and stole second base, and Tres Gonzalez plated the game’s first run with a groundout to second, also advancing Brannigan to third. With the left-hander Valdez in the set position during the next at-bat, Brannigan crept into an extended lead off third base before breaking for the plate, stealing home with a slide under the tag of catcher Antonio Gomez.
Right-hander Valentin Linarez held Tampa scoreless in his first four innings of work for the Marauders, working around three hits, all singles. But in the fifth, Linarez encountered trouble. Brett Barrera hit a one-out single and Luis Santos was hit by a pitch, and after a Roberto Chirinos popout, Linarez walked Spencer Jones to load the bases. Gomez followed with another walk, forcing home the Tarpons’ first run and chasing Linarez from the game. With the score 2-1, Darvin Garcia entered in relief and promptly allowed a go-ahead, two-run double to Tampa’s Tayler Aguilar before finishing the inning.
In the seventh, the Tarpons hassled the Marauders bullpen again, sending eight batters to the plate. Garcia allowed a leadoff single to Jones, then walked Gomez. Aguilar followed with a grounder to first baseman Juan Jerez, who attempted to start a double play with a throw to second base, but his throw bounced wildly into left field, scoring Jones. Marcos Cabrera then drove Gomez home with a sacrifice fly to center field, and Sergio Umana took over for Garcia with the score 5-2 in Tampa’s favor. Umana got Ben Rice to ground out, but Christopher Familia followed with a two-run homer to right field—his second home run in as many games—and Barrera followed with a line-drive solo homer to left, stretching the home team’s lead to 8-2.
After Harold Cortijo and Bailey Dees combined for three scoreless innings in relief for Tampa through the seventh, Cheng greeted Dees with a solo homer to lead off the eighth. No more Marauders batters, however, would reach base for the rest of the evening. Tampa, meanwhile, added one final run in the bottom of the eighth on a Cabrera RBI-single off Marauders righty Mike Walsh, making his Single-A debut.
The series continues Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Steinbrenner Field. RHP Po-Yu Chen will start for the Marauders, while Tampa will counter with RHP Tyrone Yulie.
For more information about the Bradenton Marauders, please call (941) 747-3031, visit BradentonMarauders.com, or email [email protected].