PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Behind 5-0 going to the eighth inning, Daytona scratched and clawed their way back into the contest, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the ninth. The fabulous comeback effort fell short, though, as the St. Lucie Mets hung on to
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Behind 5-0 going to the eighth inning, Daytona scratched and clawed their way back into the contest, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the ninth. The fabulous comeback effort fell short, though, as the St. Lucie Mets hung on to top the Tortugas, 5-3, on Friday night at Clover Park.
The Mets (52-45) jumped out to an early lead thanks to some unusual plays. In the second, 1B JT Schwartz (1-4, R, 2B, SO) doubled to right and moved to third on a ground out. Before the first pitch of an at-bat could be thrown, with two out in the frame, a balk was called that allowed St. Lucie to grab a 1-0 advantage.
An inning later, DH Rowdey Jordan (1-3, R, BB, SO) walked and SS Branden Fryman (1-4, R) singled with one out. CF Alexander Ramírez (2-3, 2 RBI) poked a single into left that would get behind the fielder and roll to the wall. Both baserunners crossed on the single and error to grant the Mets a 3-0 edge.
St. Lucie added solitary runs in the fifth and sixth on a Ramírez sacrifice fly and a C Matt O'Neill (1-3, RBI, SO) single to snatch a 5-0 lead.
Daytona (48-52) started to chip away in the top of the eighth. DH Rece Hinds (2-5, R, 3B, 2 SO) singled to start the frame and advanced to third on a knock up the middle by 3B Elly De La Cruz (2-4, 2B, SO). A wild pitch allowed Hinds to tap the pentagon, breaking up the shutout bid.
In the ninth, LF Danny Lantigua (0-3, R, BB, SO) coaxed a one-out walk and, on the first pitch he saw, CF Justice Thompson (1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO) unloaded a drive beyond the left-field boardwalk for the first home run of his professional career. The two-run blast pulled the Tortugas within a pair, 5-3.
After a strikeout marked the second out of the inning, Hinds re-ignited the rally with a triple into the right-center field alley. Following a walk to C Daniel Vellojín (1-3, 2 BB) that put the tying runs aboard, St. Lucie summoned their closer — RHP Luis Montas (0.1 IP) — from the bullpen.
With the go-ahead run at the plate, Montas fell behind the batter 3-1. However, the right-handed reliever induced a fly ball to center on the next pitch to end the ballgame and seal his seventh save.
RHP Oscar Rojas (6.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 SO) carried a no-hit bid for St. Lucie into the sixth before it was broken up on a one-out knock to center from Vellojín. The 22-year-old tossed 6.0 shutout innings to garner his fifth win of the season.
Daytona's RHP Jason Parker (4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 SO) took his second-straight defeat and third of the season after yielding three runs (two earned) over 4.0 frames.
The Tortugas will try and snap the brief two-game slide on Saturday, as RHP Miguel Medrano (3-1, 4.35) is anticipated to take the hill in the fifth contest of the series. St. Lucie is projected to counter with Major League rehabber RHP Jordan Yamamoto (0-0, 0.00), who threw 2.0 perfect innings in the series opener on Tuesday. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 5:55 p.m. leading up to the 6:10 p.m. first pitch from Clover Park.
The Tortugas will return home after the road trip to open up their final homestand of the season on Tuesday, August 31, against the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, the Low-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging, as Daytona players and coaches will don special pink-tinted uniforms to mark the occasion. Silver Sluggers Night — the best club in baseball for fans 60-and-over — presented by Conviva Cares Solutions will also be a part of the festivities. Fans can get in on deals at the concession stand with $2.50 Michelob Ultra draft beers. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
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 Low-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Low-A Southeast. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach. 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.