TAMPA, Fla. -- The Dunedin Blue Jays (15-7, 46-45) rolled into George M. Steinbrenner Field after winning nine of their last 10 games and added another as the Tampa Tarpons (12-9, 47-44) dropped the series-opener, 9-2, on Friday night.
In his second-straight home start, RHP Adonis Rosa failed to reach the fourth inning. The 23-year-old is now 2-3 with a 7.33 ERA in seven home games while going 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 games away from Tampa.
Joshua Palacios opened the game with a double and advanced on a base hit by Santiago Espinal before scoring on a fielder's choice grounder by Kevin Smith.
Rosa got a strikeout and a groundout to limit the damage in the first and worked around a walk and a single in the second before running into trouble in the third.
Espinal and Smith drew back-to-back, one-out walks and David Jacob followed with an RBI double. Both Smith and Jacob tagged on a deep sacrifice fly to center by Brock Lundquist and a passed ball by catcher Donny Sands allowed Jacob to later score, giving the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead.
Rosa (L, 9-3) permitted a walk and a single before getting a groundout to end the inning. The Dominican native struggled with command, walking four batters while allowing four earned runs on five hits in three innings. Rosa struck out one on 74 pitches (40 strikes).
Tampa got a run back when Rashad Crawford and Angel Aguilar hit back-to-back doubles to begin the bottom of the third. Dunedin starter Yennsy Diaz followed by retiring nine of the last 11 batters he faced.
Diaz (W, 3-2) held the Tarpons to one earned run on three hits in five innings, walking one while striking out two. The 21-year-old threw 48 of 80 pitches for strikes while winning his third-straight start.
LHP Justin Kamplain tossed a scoreless fourth before the Blue Jays struck for three more in the fifth. Lundquist walked and advanced to third on a double by Riley Adams. Kacy Clemens followed with an RBI single, prompting the Tarpons to turn to RHP Matt Frawley . One out later, Adams scored on a single by Yeltsin Gudino. A wild pitch then allowed Clemens to score, giving Dunedin a 7-1 lead.
Frawley held the Blue Jays scoreless for two and two-third innings, yielding one hit and two hit-batters, striking out four without allowing a walk.
Diego Castillo lined a leadoff double off RHP Andy Ravel in the eight and later scored when Isiah Gilliam reached on an error by Gudino at second base.
RHP Andrew Schwaab took over in the eighth and retired the side in order before Dunedin added on in the ninth. Smith singled, Lundquist reached on a hit-by-pitch and both later scored on a two-out, two-run double by Clemens.
Castillo (2-for-3, 2B, HBP, R, SB) reached base three times. Brandon Wagner (0-for-4) snapped a 24-game on-base streak.
The series continues on Saturday at 6:30 pm. on "Outdoors Night." The first 500 fans will receive a pack of Topps Baseball Cards. RHP Rony Garcia (0-0, -.--) will make his Tampa debut, starting against RHP Maverik Buffo (1-0, 0.00). Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tarpons Radio Network.
On "Salute to Service Members Saturday," all military receive a FREE upper reserved ticket with valid I.D. Also, select Tarpons players will be signing autographs on the concourse from 5:40-6:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.