TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Yankees (29-28) blasted three home runs behind a strong performance by Zack Littell and cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Jupiter Hammerheads (24-32) on a rainy Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Trey Amburgey , Tito Polo and Jhalan Jackson each hit solo home runs among the 12 hits collected by the T-Yanks in a game completed after seven innings due to unplayable field conditions.
Littell (W, 7-1) picked up his Florida State League leading seventh win in a complete-game effort, yielding one earned run on eight hits in seven innings. The right-hander walked two, struck out six and threw 66 of 92 pitches for strikes.
Polo lined a one-out double into the right field corner in the bottom of the first. One out later, Chris Gittens looped a single into left and Polo beat a throw home by left fielder John Silviano. Gittens moved up to second on the throw and later scored on a two-out, RBI single by Amburgey, giving the Yankees an early 2-0 lead.
Amburgey homered off Jupiter starter Scott Squier with two outs in the third. Polo snuck line drive inside the left field foul pole for a home run off Squier in the fifth.
Squier (L, 2-6) surrendered four earned runs on seven hits in five innings, walking one while striking out four and throwing 51 of 76 pitches for strikes.
Littell ran into trouble in the sixth when the first two Hammerhead batters reached base to begin the frame. Two outs later, Jupiter scored on a deflected RBI infield single by Brian Schales. Littell struck out Vigil to end the inning.
Tampa added two more runs in the sixth off reliever Tyler Kinley. Amburgey rocketed a single into center and advanced on a wild pitch before stealing third base and scoring on an errant throw by catcher Rodrigo Vigil. Later, Jackson blasted a home run off the batter's eye in dead-centerfield, giving the Yankees a five-run cushion.
A light drizzle began to pick up in the home half of the seventh.
Jorge Mateo drew a leadoff walk against reliever RHP Nick Neumann and Polo followed with a single into right. Greg Bird then blasted an RBI single off the top of the right field wall, missing a home run by a foot or two. Gittens kept the tempo going with run-scoring single into center. Bird tagged to third on a fly out by Amburgey before trotting home on a sacrifice fly to deep right field by Nick Solak .
Kyle Holder drew walk, advancing Gittens to second, before heavy rainfall convinced home plate umpire JC Velez to request the tarp. After a 30-minute delay, Tampa manager Jay Bell and Jupiter manager Kevin Randel stepped onto a soggy warning track and decided to call the game final.
Polo (3-for-4, HR, 2B, RBI, 3R) finished a triple shy of the cycle. Amburgey (3-for-4, HR, 2RBI, 2R, SB) and Gittens (2-for-4, 2RBI, R) also collected multi-hit games.
Bird (1-for-4, RBI, R) played his fourth game with Tampa, batting third as the designated hitter. The 24-year-old is currently on a rehab assignment, returning from re-aggravating a bone bruise in his right ankle originally suffered towards the end of Spring Training.
The series continues on Monday at 7:00 p.m. when LHP Ian Clarkin (3-2, 1.73 ERA) squares off against RHP Felipe Gonzalez (4-5, 4.62 ERA). Gates will open at 6:00 p.m. on "$1 Hot Dog Monday." Fans can enjoy $1 Scooter Dogs all night. For tickets and more information, call (813) 673-3055 or visit www.tybaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.