DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — 1B Ruben Ibarra garnered his second career multi-home run game and a career-best five RBI in the lid-lifter, while 1B Jack Rogers tallied a career-high three hits in the nightcap, as the Daytona Tortugas swept a doubleheader from the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, taking game one, 11-4, and game two, 3-1, in front of 1,136 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Sunday night at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
Daytona (24-32) wasted no time getting the offense rolling in the opener. CF Jay Allen II (1-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, SO) doubled on the first pitch of the opening frame and SS Brandon Leyton (1-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, SO) was plunked on the next offering to ignite a rally. After a wild pitch advanced the runners and a strikeout, Ibarra (3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, SO) struck a grounder past the drawn-in infield. Two runs scored on the single, giving the 'Tugas a 2-0 lead.
The initial lead did not last. RF Carlos Aguiar (1-2, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB) earned a walk with one out in Fort Myers' (35-21) half of the second, and LF Nelson Roberto (1-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, SO) followed by charging a ball to left-center field. His clout clanged off a palm tree beyond the fence for a two-run home run, his first of the year, that knotted the contest at two.
In the bottom of the frame, the Tortugas would have their rebuttal. DH Wilfred Astudillo (1-3, R, SO) reached safely on a throwing error and advanced to second when Allen was drilled. Leyton rifled the first pitch he saw into the gap in left-center for an extra-base hit. Astudillo scored, as Allen advanced to third, placing Daytona back on top, 3-2. RF Jack Rogers (1-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) made it a 4-2 contest with a run-producing ground out to first.
Both squads traded runs in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth. Daytona's LF Jamal O'Guinn (2-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, SO) doubled to right, scooted to third on a ground out, and scored on a wild pitch to make it a three-run affair. Aguiar then pounded a pitch into the auxiliary parking lot beyond the right-field wall for a solo home run — his first of the campaign — to yank Fort Myers within three, 5-3.
The Tortugas began to open the game up in the fourth. With two outs, Leyton reached on a three-base throwing error and crossed the dish on Rogers' two-bagger into the right-center field alleyway. Ibarra then dung in and incinerated a pitch to left-center for a two-run blast. The 23-year-old's sixth homer of the season pushed Daytona's advantage to 8-3.
Daytona added two more in the fifth on an RBI single from C Daniel Vellojín (1-3, R, RBI, SO) and a ground ball to short from Allen.
In the sixth, Ibarra was back for more. With one out in the inning, the Watsonville, Calif. native eviscerated an offering over the batting cages in straightaway left for a solo home run. Ibarra's second of the game and seventh of the campaign stretched the Tortugas' cushion to 11-3.
After Ibarra touched home, the game would come to a halt for an hour and 48 minutes due to rain and lightning in and around Jackie Robinson Ballpark. When the game resumed, Fort Myers nestled one last run in the seventh on a wild pitch to bring the final to 11-4.
RHP Hunter Parks (4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO) matched a career-high with six strikeouts but took a no-decision since he did not go the necessary five frames for Daytona. RHP Owen Holt (2.0 IP, 2 SO) did not allow a hit over two scoreless innings of relief to collect his second win.
Mighty Mussels RHP Pierson Ohl (3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 SO) was charged with three earned runs over three innings, suffering his third loss of the year.
In game two, once more, the Tortugas were immediate with their offense. Rogers (3-3, 2 R, 2 2B) scratched a one-out single to right and went first to third on a base hit through the right side of the infield by LF Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, SO). DH Tyler Callihan (0-2, 2 RBI) put Daytona in front 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
An inning later, Daytona left the building. With the bases empty and two out, RF Fidel Castro (1-2, R, HR, RBI, BB) lined a home run off the manual scoreboard in left field. The Santo Domingo, D.R. native's second long ball of the season doubled the Tortugas' lead to 2-0.
Daytona carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning when 2B Rubel Céspedes (1-2, R, BB) snapped the bid with a clean single to right. Following an infield knock to third by DH Nelson Roberto (1-2, SO) and a punch out, 1B LaRon Smith (1-2, RBI, BB, SO) sent a towering drive to left-center.
Both the left and center fielders traced the shot to the fence, but neither could make the play. While the ball landed safely on the turf, the baserunners — including the hitter — misread the play
Céspedes scored easily from second, but Roberto and Smith only advanced one base each, forcing the Mussels to settle for a long single, pulling them within a tally, 2-1.
CF Luis Báez (0-2, SO) followed with a soft grounder to short. Fernández charged and made the play to second base for the force out, but the relay throw to first was not in time. However, the runner at second was unaware of how many outs there were and thought the inning had ended. As a result of him leaving the basepath, he was ruled out and the rally came to a close with the Tortugas still on top.
Daytona made sure to snatch one last insurance run in their turn at the plate. Rogers led off the frame with a double into the gap in right-center and took third on a passed ball. Callihan drove the run home with a ground out to first, placing the Tortugas back up by a pair, 3-1.
The Mussels would bring the tying run to the plate in the sixth and seventh innings, but could not muster another run.
RHP Luis Mey (1.0 IP, H) stranded a leadoff double in the sixth with three-straight groundouts and LHP Jayvien Sandridge (1.0 IP, BB, 2 SO) danced around a leadoff walk in the seventh by inducing a fly ball to left and a pair of strikeouts to collect his second save.
RHP Tanner Cooper (5.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, BB, 6 SO) tossed four hitless innings before surrendering a run in the fifth. The Farmington, N.Y. resident tied a career-best with five frames of work and was awarded his third victory.
In his first start since tossing a combined no-hitter on May 31, Mussels RHP Mike Paredes (3.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 SO) was unable to escape the fourth in the finale. The San Diego, Calif. native was saddled with his second defeat.
Following the league-wide off day on Monday, the Tortugas will pack up for a six-game road trip against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Florida State League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, starting on Tuesday evening. Neither team has announced a probable starter for the series opener. Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:15 p.m. leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Joker Marchant Stadium.
After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, June 21, to open up a series against the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Florida State League affiliate of the Miami Marlins. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don special pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. It is also a Silver Sluggers Night by Conviva, featuring special team store and concession stand deals for members, plus more. The series opener features Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.
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.