TAMPA, Fla. - Oswaldo Cabrera homered twice for his first-career multi-HR game as the Tampa Tarpons bounced back with a 6-5 victory over the Lakeland Flying Tigers in front of a crowd of 2,365 on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Cabrera gave Tampa (33-30, 61-68) an early lead with a towering solo homer to right with two outs in the first off RHP Tom de Blok.
RHP Daniel Bies made his second-straight start and tallied three strikeouts while stranding a runner in the first and second innings before Lakeland (34-30, 63-66) scored three in the third.
Reece Hampton hooked a leadoff double down the right field line, and Brock Deatherage followed with a sacrifice bunt. Hampton scored, and Deatherage reached third as the ball was thrown away by first-baseman Mickey Gasper . Deatherage then beat a throw to the plate as A.J. Simcox reached on a fielder's choice with a ground ball to shortstop Diego Castillo .
A walk and an error loaded the bases before Simcox scored on a single by Urlich Bojarski. Bies limited the damage by getting a pop-out by Jordan Pearce and an inning-ending 6-3 double-play off the bat of Christopher Proctor.
Jason Lopez reached on a throwing error by third-baseman Brady Policelli, and Kyle Gray looped a single into shallow left to begin the home-half of the third. A wild pitch advanced the runners before Lopez scored on a groundout by Pablo Olivares . Gray took third on an infield single by Estevan Florial before tying the game on a sacrifice fly by Cabrera.
Bies picked Deatherage off of first to face the minimum in the fourth before yielding a leadoff single by Simcox in the fifth. One out later, Simcox took third on a base hit by Nick Ames, and Bojarksi followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly, putting the Flying Tigers back in front, 4-3.
de Blok retired six-straight Tarpons before walking Florial with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. de Blok fell behind Cabrera, 3-0, before running the count full. Cabrera then crushed a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right-center for a go-ahead two-run homer, giving Tampa a 5-4 lead.
In the sixth, Gasper pulled a one-out single into right off de Blok, took second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout before scoring on a high return throw to the mound by Proctor.
de Blok (L, 2-12) allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, walking two while striking out two in five and two-third innings, throwing 57 of 90 pitches for strikes.
Bies (W, 1-1) returned for the sixth and got two quick outs before exiting with a season-high 103 pitches (69 strikes). The 23-year-old allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, one walk and one hit-batter in five and two-third innings, tallying five strikeouts.
RHP Wilser Barrios (H, 1) made his Tarpons debut in relief of Bies and retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, stranding a two-out walk by Policelli in the seventh.
In the ninth, John Valente lined a leadoff single before getting forced out as Hampton reached on a fielder's choice. Hampton took second on a groundout by Deatherage and scored on a base hit to left by Simcox. RHP Jefry Valdez (SV, 1) entered for Barrios and got a pop-out to shortstop by Policelli to end the game.
Cabrera (2-for-3, 2HR, Sac-F, 4RBI, 2R) tied a career-high with 4 RBI while logging his fourth-straight multi-hit game. Over his last 11 games, the 20-year-old is batting .439 (18-for-41) with 9R and 10RBI.
The series wraps up with a doubleheader on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. LHP Jordan Montgomery is expected to join the Tarpons to start Game One as part of a rehab assignment, with RHP Jake Thompson (4-0, 1.83) getting the nod for the Flying Tigers.
The pitching matchup for Game Two is still to be determined. Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
As part of Family Funday Sunday, fans can take advantage of $40 Family 4-Packs, which include four tickets, four hats and four $5 concession vouchers (Family 4-Packs are only available at the George M. Steinbrenner Field Box Office. In addition, Kids 14-and-under can the run the bases after the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.