TAMPA, Fla. - Tyler Hill crushed a three-run home run in the seventh, but Tampa (2-5) pitchers issued a season-high 11 walks and the St. Lucie Mets claimed the series with a 4-3 win on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
RHP Clarke Schmidt allowed two of his career-high five walks in the first, as St. Lucie (4-3) scored in the opening inning for the third-straight game.
Blake Tiberi singled, and Hansel Moreno legged out a bunt hit before Schmidt walked Desmond Lindsay, loading the bases with no outs. Tiberi then scored as Quinn Brodey bounced into a 6-3 double-play. One walk later, Schmidt got a groundout to end the frame.
Déjà vu happened for Schmidt in the third, as Tiberi, Moreno and Lindsay all reached to begin the inning. Tiberi then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brodey, and Moreno crossed the plate on a throwing error by third-baseman Oswaldo Cabrera , giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.
A walk and a single followed, but Schmidt got a strikeout to strand two more runners. The right-hander returned for the fourth and retired the first two batters before LHP Dalton Lehnen entered in relief.
Schmidt (L, 0-1) allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in three and two-third innings. The 23-year-old struck out three while issuing a career-high five walks, throwing 39 of 79 pitches for strikes.
RHP Briam Campusano (W, 1-1) started for St. Lucie and stymied the Tampa hitters through five scoreless innings, scattering two hits and a walk while striking out three.
A pair of walks helpd St. Lucie reload the bases off Lehnen in the fifth, and a run scored on a base hit by Cody Bohanek before Lehnen got a strikeout to leave the bases full.
Steven Sensley and Isiah Gilliam lined back-to-back singles off RHP Marcel Renteria with one out in the seventh. One out later, Hill lined a ball just over the wall in left-center field, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Lehnen turned in four and two-third innings of relief, striking out five while yielding one run on three hits and four walks. RHP Braden Bristo took over in the ninth, with one out and a runner at first. A pair of walks loaded the bases, but Bristo got a pop-out and a strikeout to escape the jam.
RHP Conner O'Neil (SV, 1) worked around a two-out single by Pablo Olivares in the eighth before tossing a perfect ninth to seal the game.
Sensley (1-for-3, BB, R) was the lone Tarpon to reach base twice. Hill (1-for-3, HR, 3RBI, R) hit his first home run since May 20th, 2018 with Single-A Advanced Salem.
The Tarpons will look to salvage a win in the series-finale on Thursday morning, when RHP Deivi Garcia (0-1, 10.80) starts against RHP Tony Dibrell (0-0, 4.50) at 10:30 a.m. on Fifth Third Field Day. Tampa will welcome thousands of students from Hillsborough County Public Schools.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.