TAMPA, Fla. - The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Threshers with a 2-1 victory in 14 innings on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa (30-15, 69-46) tallied its ninth walk-off win of the season while winning its 12th consecutive home game.
Along the way, four Yankees pitchers combined to strike out 25 Threshers, falling one shy of the all-time Florida State League record of 26 set by the then Tampa Tarpons in a 22-inning game on May 24, 1981.
A pair of two-out hits gave Tampa the lead in the first against Clearwater (23-23, 61-55) starter JoJo Romero. Estevan Florial extended his Tampa hitting streak to seven games with a broken-bat single into right and scored from first on a double into the right field corner by Trey Amburgey .
After tossing a perfect first, Brian Keller ran into trouble when the Threshers placed runners at second and third with no outs in the second. A pair of strikeouts and a line out got the right-hander out of the jam.
Keller stranded two more in the third and worked around a one-out double in the fourth by striking out the next six batters he faced.
Wilson Garcia snapped the strikeout streak with a one-out single in the sixth and Jan Hernandez followed with a walk. Garcia then scored on an errant throw as Derek Campbell reached on a fielder's choice.
Keller ended the sixth with his 11th strikeout, achieving a new career-high. The 23-year-old held Clearwater to one unearned run on six hits and one walk in six innings, throwing 70 of 96 pitches for strikes in a no-decision.
Romero left after six innings, yielding one earned run on four hits. The righty walked one, struck out one and threw 50 of 86 pitches for strikes.
RHP Jose Pena relieved Keller in the seventh and left a pair of runners on base, ending the frame with a strikeout. The 26-year-old returned for the eighth and threw an immaculate inning, striking out the side with nine pitches.
Pena added two more strikeouts in a perfect ninth before LHP Trevor Lane took the baton and struck out the side in a 1-2-3 10th. The 23-year-old added one more in the 11th before LHP Stephen Tarpley entered for the 12th.
Tarpley (W, 5-0) stranded a leadoff bunt single in the 12th before collecting a strikeout in a perfect 13th. A groundout and a pair of strikeouts appeared to end the 14th, but Austin Bossart reached on a K/WP. Grenny Cumana followed with an infield single and a second wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third before Tarpley struck out Mark Laird to end the threat.
Tampa was held to one hit over seven-straight innings until finally breaking through against LHP Tyler Gilbert (L, 0-5) in the 14th. Alexander Palma hustled for a leadoff double and advanced to third when Florial, after striking out on a pitch in the dirt, reached second on an wild throw by the catcher, Bossart. After an intentional walk of Amburgey to load the bases, Kyle Holder lined the game-winning single into right.
Gosuke Katoh (2-for-5) had the lone multi-hit game for Tampa. Amburgey (1-for-5, 2B, BB, RBI, R), Palma (1-for-5, 2B, BB, R) and Florial (1-for-5, BB, R) also reached base safely twice apiece.
Up next, the T-Yanks open a four-game series with the St. Lucie Mets on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. LHP Chaz Hebert (0-1, 4.91 ERA) is scheduled to face RHP Scarlyn Reyes (0-0, 4.50 ERA). On Thirsty Thursdays, fans can enjoy 16 oz. Bud and Bud Light drafts for $3 and 12 oz. fountain drinks for $1 from 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. For 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.