TAMPA, Fla. - Offense was in short supply for both teams on opening day, but the Lakeland Flying Tigers (1-0) used a go-ahead home run by Ross Kivett in the ninth inning to earn a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Yankees (0-1) on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
LHP Jordan Montgomery and RHP Chad Green joined the T-Yanks to make appearances after their original pitching schedules were interrupted by heavy rainfall in the northeast. The teammates are competing for New York's fifth rotation spot.
Montgomery retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced before surrendering an unearned run in the fifth.
Zach Shepherd drew a leadoff walk and advanced on a passed ball by Jorge Sáez. One out later, Arvicent Perez blooped an RBI single onto the right field line beyond first base. Austin Aune then doubled off Perez on first base after a fly out by David Gonzalez, ending the inning.
Montgomery finished after five innings, allowing the one unearned run on three hits. The southpaw tallied eight strikeouts and walked only one, throwing 47 of 69 pitches for strikes in a no-decision.
Tampa tied the score in the sixth against RHP Zac Reininger. Trey Amburgey lined a two-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Matt Snyder then reached on a hit-by-pitch and Tito Polo followed with an RBI single into right field.
Green (L, 0-1) entered in the sixth and faced the minimum thanks to a 5-4-3 double play. He retired seven consecutive Flying Tigers before Kivett hit a leadoff home run off the first pitch in the ninth.
Green allowed the one earned run on two hits in five innings. The righty tallied four strikeouts, no walks and threw 34 of 49 pitches for strikes.
RHP Santiago Garrido (W, 1-0) earned the win for Lakeland in relief, recording three strikeouts in two and a third scoreless innings. RHP Mark Ecker (SV, 1) tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, earning the save.
Polo led the Tampa offense, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Amburgey (1-for-4, R) and Sáez (1-for-3) also recorded hits.
The series continues on Friday when RHP Taylor Widener (0-0, -.-- ERA) makes his Tampa Yankees debut, getting the start against RHP A.J. Ladwig (0-0, -.-- ERA) and the Flying Tigers. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.
On Wing Deal Friday, fans can enjoy $10 all-you-can-eat chicken wings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. A fireworks extravaganza will follow the game. For more information visit tybaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.