Castillo's Walk-Off Seals Doubleheader Sweep for Tampa

Tarpons Salvage Series Split Against Blue Jays

Diego Castillo (4-for-8, 2RBI, 2R, SB) lined a walk-off RBI single to give Tampa a 2-1 win over Dunedin in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia / Tampa Tarpons | July 11, 2019 11:39 PM

TAMPA, Fla. - After snapping Dunedin's 11-game winning streak with an 8-2 win in the continuation of Wednesday night's suspended game, the Tarpons got a walk-off RBI single by Diego Castillo to defeat the Blue Jays, 2-1 in eight innings, and take both ends of a twinbill on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

 

Game Two of Wednesday night's doubleheader was suspended with Tampa leading, 3-0, in the top of the third after a pair of two-out RBI singles by Pablo Olivares and Estevan Florial . RHP Janson Junk tallied three strikeouts while retiring six-of-seven batters faced before rain poured down, forcing play to be suspended until Thursday evening.

 

RHP Josh Winckowski (L, 2-1) started for Dunedin (16-6, 57-30) and allowed three earned runs on four hits in two innings, walking two while striking out two on 47 pitches (29 strikes).

 

RHP Clarke Schmidt relieved Junk when play resumed in the top of the third. Schmidt worked around two walks and a hit-batter while striking out a pair to strand the bases loaded.

 

Castillo singled and later advanced to third as David Metzgar reached on a fielder's choice before scoring on a throwing error by shortstop Kevin Vicuna, giving Tampa a 4-0 against RHP Mike Ellenbest in the bottom of the third.

 

Kacy Clemens drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, and Chavez Young followed with a base hit to center before both scored on a two-run double by Ryan Noda, cutting the lead in half, but Schmidt struck out the next two batters before getting a lineout to end the frame.

 

Florial, Oswaldo Cabrera and Mickey Gasper each singled off Ellenbest to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth, and Donny Sands followed with a two-run single to left. One out later, Gasper scored on a base hit to center by Steven Sensley , but Sands was thrown out at the plate by Young from centerfield to end the inning.

 

Schmidt (W, 3-2) retired seven-straight batters before leaving with one out in the sixth. The 23-year-old allowed two earned runs on two hits, three walks and a hit-batter in three and a third innings, striking out four on 67 pitches (38 strikes) in his first outing off the injured list.

 

Tampa loaded the bases again in the sixth on base hits by Florial and Cabrera, along with a one-out walk by Jason Lopez . Castillo added insurance with an RBI single to left, driving home Florial for an 8-2 lead before RHP Kyle Weatherly stranded the bases loaded.

 

RHP Kyle Zurak worked around a walk and a single while logging a pair of scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh to close the game.

 

Major League veteran reliever, LHP Dan Jennings joined the Tarpons on Thursday to start Game Two of the doubleheader. The 32-year-old was signed by New York on Monday after being designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals and electing free agency.

 

Jennings retired nine of the 11 batters he faced, stranding a leadoff double by Alejandro Kirk in the second before allowing a run in the third. Samad Taylor pulled a leadoff double into left, stole third base and scored on a groundout by Cal Stevenson, giving Dunedin a 1-0 lead.

 

RHP Maximo Castillo started for the Blue Jays and held Tampa scoreless for the first four innings, retiring 13 of the first 15 batters he faced before Sensley clobbered a home run over the wall in right-center, tying the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth.

 

Castillo allowed one earned run on three hits and one walk in six innings, tallying a season-high eight strikeouts on 82 pitches (60 strikes) in his sixth quality start of the season.

 

LHP Anderson Severino relieved Jennings in the fourth and struck out a pair while retiring all six batters he faced over two scoreless frames. RHP Braden Bristo stranded a leadoff single in the sixth and got a double-play in a scoreless seventh, striking out three.

 

The score remained tied, 1-1, after seven, leading to the third extra-inning game of the series.

 

Clemens began the top of the eighth at second base and, after a leadoff walk, Taylor advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Tampa brought the infield in and Bristo induced a ground ball to second by Jesus Navarro. Clemens tried to score, but Garcia threw him out at the plate. Bristo (W, 3-1) then got Stevenson on a groundout to preserve the tie score.

 

After tossing a scoreless seventh, RHP Brad Wilson (L, 1-3) returned for the bottom of the eighth, with Molina acting as the extra-inning runner at second. After failing to drop down a bunt, Omar Carrizales got Molina to third with a groundout to first. Castillo then lined a single into centerfield, scoring Molina for a 2-1 victory.

 

Florial (4-for-7, RBI, 2R) went 4-for-4 in Game One - the first four-hit game by a Tarpons player this season. Castillo (4-for-8, 2RBI, 2R, SB) has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, batting .343 (12-for-35) in that span. Sensley (2-for-3, HR, 4BB, 2RBI, 2R) reached base in six of his seven plate appearances in the doubleheader.

 

Up next, the Tarpons embark on a six-game road trip, beginning with a three-game series in Port Charlotte against the Charlotte Stone Crabs. RHP Trevor Stephan (0-2, 7.56) is slated to start against RHP Joe Ryan (5-2, 1.83) in the opener on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play audio will be provided by the Charlotte Stone Crabs Baseball Network.

 

Following an off-day on Monday, Tampa will then play three games in Fort Myers against the Miracle before returning home to host a three-game series against the Bradenton Marauders, beginning on Friday, July 19th at 6:30 p.m. On Sink-or-Swim Friday, fans can enjoy all-you-can-drink Bud, Bud Light and Select Liquors for $20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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