TAMPA, Fla. - Coming off back-to-back shutout losses in Palm Beach, the Tampa offense broke out with 13 hits, but the defense tied a season-high with four errors as the Tarpons lost a back-and-forth affair, 8-6, to the Daytona Tortugas in the opener of a six-game homestand on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After taking both ends a doubleheader to sweep the Fort Myers Miracle in a rain-shortened, two-game series, Tampa (17-23) lost four-straight games in Palm Beach to complete a six-game road trip. The loss on Friday put the Tarpons on a season-worst five-game losing streak.
Daytona (21-19) jumped out to a 2-0 in the first against RHP Glenn Otto . Alejo Lopez and Jonathan India both singled and scored when Hendrik Clementina hit a liner into left field. After Lopez crossed the plate, India scored on a throwing error by leftfielder Isiah Gilliam .
Otto held the Tortugas scoreless for the rest of his six innings of work, logging his first quality start of the season. The 23-year-old allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and one walk while tallying seven strikeouts on 90 pitches (59 strikes).
Steven Sensley put Tampa on the board with a leadoff homer in the fifth. One out later, Omar Carrizales singled and advanced to third on a double by Wendell Rijo . Carrizales scored on a groundout by Pablo Olivares to tie the game, 2-2.
After opening the season with six-straight relief outings, RHP Mac Sceroler made his second-straight start for Daytona, allowing two earned runs on six hits in five innings. The 24-year-old tallied five strikeouts without issuing a walk and threw 47 of 65 pitches for strikes.
RHP Greg Weissert relieved Otto in the seventh and, after a leadoff single by Clementina, Bruce Yari put the Tortugas back ahead with a two-run homer. Two outs later, Andy Sugilio added a solo shot, giving Daytona a 5-2 lead.
Tampa responded with a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh off RHP Aneurys Zabala.
A leadoff walk by Angel Aguilar , a base hit by Carrizales and an RBI single by Rijo began the frame. One out later, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a game-tying, two-run double to center. RHP Andy Cox relieved Zabala and Gilliam put the Tarpons ahead with an RBI single to left before Cox retired the next two batters to end the inning.
A pair of fielding errors assisted in Daytona taking back the lead in the eighth. Lopez reached on catcher's interference and, one out later, Drew Mount singled to left. RHP Kyle Zurak relieved Weissert (L, 2-1), and Clementina reached on a hit-by-pitch, loading the bases. A pair scored as Yari reached on a misplay at shortstop by Cabrera, putting the Tortugas ahead, 7-6.
Sugilio singled, stole second and scored on a double by Jose Garcia as Daytona added its final run off Zurak (BS, 2) in the ninth.
Cox (W, 101) retired four of the last five batters he faced. A leadoff single by Olivares brought the tying run to the plate for Tampa in the ninth, but RHP Ryan Nutof (SV, 6) tallied two punchouts while retiring four-of-five batters faced to record a four-out save.
Olivares (2-for-5, RBI, R, CS), Gilliam (2-for-5, RBI), Carrizales (2-for-4, 2R), Rijo (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Donny Sands (2-for-4, 2B) logged multi-hit games. Sensley (1-for-4, HR, RBI, R, SB) clubbed his fourth homer.
LHP JP Sears (1-1, 3.60) will get the nod against LHP Reiver Sanmartín (1-3, 5.06) on Military Appreciation Night, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
On Strikeout Saturday, strikeouts by Tampa pitchers will determine the special of the day. When a Tarpons pitcher strikes out a batter, a select special will be activated for the night (each special lasts 60 minutes). In addition, fans can collect player 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.