DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, Stetson University alum, and DeLand, Fla. native RHP Jacob deGrom stole the show from the outset, striking out six in his second rehab start. Daytona nearly erased a four-run deficit with four-straight two-out hits in the ninth, but the
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Two-time National League Cy Young Award winner, Stetson University alum, and DeLand, Fla. native RHP Jacob deGrom stole the show from the outset, striking out six in his second rehab start. Daytona nearly erased a four-run deficit with four-straight two-out hits in the ninth, but the Tortugas fell a run short in a 5-4 loss to the St. Lucie Mets in front of a sellout crowd of 3,379 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night.
deGrom (3.0 IP, 3 H, 6 SO) chugged through the first inning with a harmless three-up, three-down inning. Daytona's 3B Austin Callahan (1-4, 2B, 2 SO) made sure he would not get through the second unscathed.
The Fremont, Neb. native powered a towering drive off the four-time All-Star that clanged off the very top of the right-center field wall. Callahan chugged into second with a one-out double but was stranded at third.
In the third inning, after deGrom started the frame with a pair of strikeouts, RF Jack Rogers (2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI) laced a single to right and 2B Steven Leyton (3-5, R, 2B) blooped a knock into shallow center to chase the lead man to third. However, like the inning prior, the eight-year Major Leaguer registered a swinging strikeout to end the inning and his night.
St. Lucie (7-6, 47-31) squirted out to an early lead in support of deGrom in the second. 1B Raúl Beracierta (3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SO) started the inning with a single to left and moved to third on another knock from 3B Justin Guerrera (2-3, RBI, BB, SO). After the latter stole second, 2B Warren Saunders (0-3, RBI) hit a tapper to third. The infielder's only play was to first, enabling Beracierta to score to put the Mets up 1-0.
Beracierta would help create more damage in the third. CF Omar De Los Santos (0-4, R, 2 SO) was drilled with one out and motored over to third base on a soft single to center from SS Junior Tilien (1-5, R, 2 SO). Following a strikeout, Beracierta hit a worm burner past the diving first baseman and all the way to the right-field wall. Both baserunners crossed on the double, stretching St. Lucie's cushion to 3-0.
After deGrom departed to start the fourth, DH Michel Triana (1-5, R, HR, RBI, 3 SO) launched a high arcing shot down the right-field line. The 22-year-old's blast left the ballpark and bounced into the auxiliary parking lot for a solo home run — his fifth of the year — to draw Daytona (4-9, 33-45) within two, 3-1.
The Mets maneuvered that run back in the top of the fifth. RF Carlos Domínguez (0-4, R, 3 SO) was smoked with a pitch and, after stealing second base, came home on a two-out single from Guerrera.
Beracierta re-entered the fray in the top of the seventh. After smashing a home run in that frame a night prior, the Venezuela native launched the first pitch he saw to virtually the same spot in right-center field for a solo shot. Beracierta's sixth home run of the year extended St. Lucie's edge to four, 5-1.
It remained that way until two outs in the bottom of the ninth, as SS Ilvin Fernández (1-3, R, SO) innocuously started a rally with an infield single to short. Rogers then pummeled the second delivery of his at-bat well beyond the batter's eye in straight away center field for a two-run blast. The 23-year-old's fourth with the Tortugas — a 460-foot smash — pulled Daytona within two, 5-3.
The 'Tugas did not relent, as Leyton followed the jack with a single and snatched second base on a wild pitch. LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-4, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 SO) subsequently drove in the runner with a slicing double into left-center, cutting the deficit to one, 5-4.
However, that was as close as Daytona would get. RHP Trey McLoughlin (0.1 IP, SO) entered with the tying run in scoring position and the winning run at the plate and produced a swinging strikeout to end the contest and seal his second save of the year.
RHP Ryan Cardona (4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 5 SO) went toe-for-toe with deGrom on Friday evening for Daytona. Alas, the Livingston, N.J. was saddled with his second loss of the year despite matching a career-high with four innings pitched.
Entering in support of deGrom (3.0 IP, 3 H, 6 SO), LHP Keyshawn Askew (4.2 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 9 SO) dazzled in relief for St. Lucie. The Clemson University alumnus punched out a career-best nine hitters to earn his second victory.
You better not pout and you better not cry when the series continues on Saturday as the Tortugas celebrate Christmas in July Night. There will be special on-field games and activities around the ballpark as part of the fun, as well as a Jack Frost Cocktail special at concession stands and an appearance by Santa Claus himself. It will also be Flagler County Night featuring discounted tickets for residents through the appropriate FEVO link.
RHP José Franco (1-5, 5.09) — one of Cincinnati's Top 40 prospects per Baseball America entering the season — is projected to make the start for the Tortugas. The Mets are scheduled to counter with RHP Franklin Sánchez (1-1, 3.75). Gates open at 6 p.m. 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.