TAMPA, Fla. - Dermis Garcia delivered a go-ahead home run through rainfall in the eighth inning and the Tampa Tarpons (12-15) claimed a 6-5 win in the rubber-game over the Charlotte Stone Crabs (12-15) on Thursday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
After a 32-mintue rain delay, RHP Miguel Yajure took the field and worked a scoreless top of the first. Diego Castillo lined a one-out single in the home-half and Miguel Andujar , playing in his third rehab game, smashed a two-run homer over the wall in the left field corner, giving the Tarpons a 2-0 lead off RHP Brian Shaffer.
Andújar (2-for-2, HR, 2RBI, R) played four errorless innings at third base and lined a single in the fourth before leaving a pinch-runner. After going 0-for-7 to begin his rehab assignment, the 24-year-old hit safely in each of his last three at-bats and is expected to rejoin the New York Yankees in the Bronx this weekend.
Yajure struck out two batters in a scoreless second, but the rain got heavier in the third, and Charlotte rallied. Seaver Whalen reached on an error by second-baseman Welfrin Mateo , and Jonathan Aranda singled into left before an errant throw by leftfielder Isiah Gilliam allowed Whalen to score.
The next three Stone Crabs delivered RBI hits, including a triple by Vidal Brujan, a single by Carl Chester and a triple by Thomas Milone. Moises Gomez followed with a sacrifice fly, and Jim Haley legged out an infield single before Yajure ended the frame with a pair of strikeouts.
Shaffer retired eight-straight batters before Andújar's leadoff single in the fourth. Garcia reached on a fielder's choice and, one out later, advanced to third on a single to left by Donny Sands , with Sands moving to second on a throw to third. Both scored as Tyler Hill reached on an error by Aranda at second base, a Mateo followed with a game-tying RBI double to left.
Yajure stranded two runners in the fourth, struck out the side in the fifth and got a double-play to face the minimum in the sixth, completing six innings for the third time in five starts. The 21-year-old tallied a season-high seven strikeouts while yielding five runs (four earned) on eight hits, one walk and a hit-batter, throwing 61 of 87 pitches for strikes.
Shaffer ended his outing after tossing a 1-2-3 fifth. The 22-year-old allowed a season-high five runs (two earned) on five hits in five innings, walking none while striking out three on 77 pitches (59 strikes).
RHP Alex Valverde held Tampa scoreless in the sixth and seventh before RHP Mikey York (L, 1-2) took over in the eighth. Garcia led off the inning and jumped on York's first pitch, blasting it over the left field wall to give the Tarpons a 6-5 lead.
RHP Braden Bristo (W, 2-0) struck out a pair and worked around a hit, a walk and an error to keep the Stone Crabs off the board in the seventh and eighth. RHP Kyle Zurak (SV, 5) tallied his league-leading fifth save, getting a double-play and a strikeout in a scoreless ninth.
Garcia (1-for-4, HR, RBI, 2R) tallied his seventh homer and his league-leading 25th RBI while extending his on-base streak to 16 games. Castillo (1-for-4, R) extended his hitting streak to 16 games and is batting .328 (20-for-61) in that span. The game featured eight errors - four from each team.
Up next, the Tarpons travel to Kissimmee to take on the Florida Fire Frogs in a weekend series at Osceola County Stadium. LHP JP Sears (0-0. 5.40) is scheduled to start against LHP Philip Pfeifer (0-0, -.--) in the series-opener on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Florida Fire Frogs Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.