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Tortugas Rally to Win Suspended Game, But Are Blanked in Game 2

June 8, 2023

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL—Hector Rodriguez hit a go-ahead homer to lead a comeback effort as the Daytona Tortugas stormed back to win the conclusion of Wednesday's suspended game 7-5, only for the St. Lucie Mets to bounce back and shut out Daytona 3-0 in the nightcap. Daytona (22-32) scored five

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL—Hector Rodriguez hit a go-ahead homer to lead a comeback effort as the Daytona Tortugas stormed back to win the conclusion of Wednesday's suspended game 7-5, only for the St. Lucie Mets to bounce back and shut out Daytona 3-0 in the nightcap.

Daytona (22-32) scored five runs in the first three innings after Wednesday's game was resumed to erase a four-run deficit. However, St. Lucie (18-35) was able to avoid suffering the same fate after a rain delay midway through the second game.

On Wednesday, St. Lucie mounted a 5-1 lead through three innings. Victor Acosta gave Daytona a brief lead by scoring on a wild pitch in the second, but St. Lucie responded by swatting three home runs in the bottom of the third off Daytona starter Mason Pelio, taking a 5-1 lead in the process.

The game was suspended in the top of the fourth inning on Wednesday with runners at second and third and no outs for Daytona.

After the resumption, the Tortugas immediately began chipping away. Acosta singled in one of the two runners, though Daytona couldn’t draw any closer in that frame.

Kenya Huggins went to the mound in the bottom of the fourth and immediately allowed a leadoff triple to Wilfredo Lara, followed by a walk and stolen base. However, Huggins retired the next three men to throw a scoreless inning.

The offense came back alive shortly thereafter. Rodriguez led off with a double, moved to third on a Sal Stewart single, and both came home when Cam Collier busted an 0-for-19 skid with a two-run bloop single to center that scored both runners, trimming the Tortuga deficit to 5-4.

An inning later, Daytona pulled ahead. With two outs, Michel Triana snapped an 0-for-26 string with a double down the right field line. Rodriguez followed with a towering home run to right, his league-leading tenth of the season, to pull Daytona ahead 6-5 on the two-run blast.

From there, Huggins (1-2) did his part, striking out four straight batters over the fifth and sixth innings, while scattering three hits over his first four innings. He came out for the eighth, but surrendered two hits to begin the inning, ending his night after 4.0 scoreless innings, with five hits and one walk allowed, while tying his career high with seven strikeouts to earn his first professional win.

Easton Sikorski was summoned from the bullpen and promptly struck out Lara, who finished a double shy of the cycle. After a walk loaded the bases, Junior Tilien bounced into a 4-3 double play to end the threat and preserve the lead.

In the ninth, the Tortugas added some insurance. Acosta walked with one out to bring Yerlin Confidan to the dish, who ripped a double into the gap in right-center as Acosta motored all the way home from first to extend the Daytona lead to 7-5.

Sikorski came back out and allowed a leadoff single, but after a flyout, he induced a 5-4-3 twin killing to end the game, nailing down his third save of the season to end the contest.

In game two, both pitchers traded spotless first innings. However, St. Lucie roughed up Daytona starter Ryan Cardona in the second. After a leadoff hit batter, a double put two in scoring position for Kevin Villavicencio, who legged out an infield single to bring in the first run of the game. After a strikeout, followed by a walk to load the bases, Blaine McIntosh slapped a single to left which brought home two more runs, staking St. Lucie to a 3-0 lead.

Meanwhile, Daytona did little against St. Lucie starter Layonel Ovalles. The right-hander worked the first four innings, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out four. However, his oouting was cut short when Mother Nature intervened once again, bringing out the tarp for a second straight night in the middle of the fourth inning.

After a delay of 1 hour, 14 minutes, the game resumed in the bottom of the fourth with a scoreless inning from Jacob Heatherly.

In the fifth, the Tortugas put together their first scoring opportunity of the contest, greeting reliever Jimmy Loper with consecutive singles to open the inning. However, Loper struck out the next three hitters as Daytona failed to draw closer.

Heatherly would throw 2.0 hitless innings of relief, while Brett Lockwood followed with a 1-2-3 sixth. However, it didn't matter as Loper (1-1) settled in, allowing a leadoff walk in the seventh, but nothing more as he shut down Daytona over the remaining three innings to close out a 3-0 win for St. Lucie to split the day's action.

The Tortugas will play finish Thursday's game, which will then be followed by game four against the St. Lucie Mets on Friday night. LHP Bryce Hubbart (0-1, 4.50) will get the ball for Daytona against St. Lucie RHP Douglas Orellana (2-2, 4.45). First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. with pregame on the Tortugas Radio Network with the Voice of the Tortugas Brennan Mense beginning at 5:55 p.m. from Clover Park.

Daytona Tortugas single-game tickets and ticket packages are on sale now at, (386) 257-3172, or the box office at 110 East Orange Ave.


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.