Slam Leads Stone Crabs by Yankees in Opener, 8-4

Tampa Yankees' LHP Josh Rogers logged his 5th-straight quality start, holding the Charlotte Stone Crabs to 3ER in 7.0IP (7H, 1BB, 4K) in the 8-4 loss on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia / Tampa Yankees | May 5, 2017 9:56 PM ET

TAMPA, Fla. -After falling behind early, the Tampa Yankees (11-18) rallied to tie the score in the sixth before a grand slam by Dalton Kelly led the Charlotte Stone Crabs (14-14) to an 8-4 victory in the series-opener on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Charlotte scored a run in each of the first three innings against LHP Josh Rogers.

Ryan Brett lined a one-out double into the left field corner and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Boldt, giving Charlotte a lead in the first.

Tampa pulled the score even in the home half as Tito Polo reached on a fielder's choice and later scored on a two-out, RBI single by Trey Amburgey.

The Stone Crabs jumped back in front when Peter Maris and Manuel Sanchez lined back-to-back, two-out singles in the second. Lowe added the third with a solo home run in the third innings.

Polo led off the bottom of the sixth by crushing a home run over the right field wall. Later in the frame, the T-Yanks tied the score as Nick Solak reached on a fielder's choice and scored from first when Mandy Alvarez hit a two-out pop-up that fell out of Brett's glove at second base.

Rogers settled down and made his fifth-consecutive quality start for Tampa. The southpaw held Charlotte to three earned runs on seven hits in seven innings, walking one while striking out four. Rogers threw 65-of-94 pitches for strikes.

RHP Jose Pena (L, 0-1) entered in relief of Rogers in the eighth and Jake Cronenworth greeted him with a single off the second base bag. A pair of walks loaded the bases before Kelly hit a home run into the jet stream for a grand slam over the wall in right-centerfield.

Tampa got one run back in the bottom of the inning when Polo was hit by a pitch and later scored on a two-out, RBI single by Solak. Charlotte regained its four-run advantage when the wind carried a home run by Cronenworth over the right-centerfield wall.

LHP Michael Velasquez made the start for the Stone Crabs and took a no-decision after holding the Yankees to three runs (two earned) on five hits in five and two-third innings, walking one while striking out three and tossing 63 of 91 pitches for strikes.

RHP Michael Santos (W, 3-0) got the win in relief after yielding a run on two hits in three and a third innings, striking out a pair.

Solak (1-for-4, RBI, R) extended his on-base streak to 15 games and has reached base safely in 21 of his last 22 contests, batting .319 (23-for-72) in that span. Polo (1-for-3, HR, RBI, 3R) slugged his first home run of the season.

The series continues on Saturday when RHP Taylor Widener (0-3, 5.16 ERA) faces RHP Eduar Lopez (2-2, 3.81 ERA) on Bark at the Ballpark night. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. with the gates opening at 5:00 p.m.

Fans are able to bring their dogs to the park to enjoy the game. All dogs must have a ticket, with proceeds directly benefiting Southeastern Guide Dogs. 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.

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