TAMPA, Fla. – Solid pitching out of the bullpen powered the Tarpons past the Dunedin Blue Jays, 4-3, on a clear Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tarpons’ relievers combined for 6.1 innings, striking out six batters, and allowing just one hit. A parade of singles in the second
TAMPA, Fla. – Solid pitching out of the bullpen powered the Tarpons past the Dunedin Blue Jays, 4-3, on a clear Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tarpons’ relievers combined for 6.1 innings, striking out six batters, and allowing just one hit. A parade of singles in the second inning, and a 2-1 blast off the bat of Anthony Garcia in the fourth was enough to give Tampa their second win in a row against the Jays’ and their third win in a row overall.
RHP Richard Fitts made his first start of the season and was greeted early in the first inning by the Jays’ bats. After forcing the lead-off batter to ground out to second base, Fitts allowed a line-drive double to Estiven Machado. Next batter, Damiano Palmegiani promptly launched a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead. Fitts gave up back-to-back singles before recording a flyout and a strike out to get out of the early jam.
The Blue Jays added another run in the top of the second, with Machado driving in Dasan Brown on an RBI double to right field. Fitts finished surrendering three runs on seven hits and one walk, striking out three on 59 pitches (44 strikes) over 2.2 innings pitched.
Antonio Gomez led off the bottom of the second with a leadoff single to left field. Connor Cannon added a single of his own on a 2-0 count, putting runners on first and second with 1 out. On an 0-2 pitch from Jonatan Bernal, Ryder Green slapped an RBI single to left, scoring Gomez. Raimfer Salinas followed suit and tied the game 2-2 with an RBI single to left field to plate Cannon.
RHP Kevin Milam (1-0) entered in relief in the top of the third inning, striking out Rikelbin De Castro for the final out to end the frame. On the flip side, with two outs in the bottom of the third, Anthony Garcia stepped up to the plate with two outs and demolished a home run to deep right, giving the Tarpons the lead, 4-3. Marcos Cabrera, who walked two batters earlier, scored as well.
Milam held the Blue Jays scoreless over 2.2 innings of work, finishing the game with three strikeouts. RHP Danny Watson relieved Milam with one gone in the sixth and recorded both outs to conclude the top half of the inning. Watson was also stellar, striking out one batter and allowing just one hit over 2.2 scoreless innings. RHP Jack Neely came in to close the door and did just that. The righty struck out two of the three batters he faced en route to his first save of the season.
The Tarpons will face off for game three of their six game set against Dunedin on Thursday April 14th, with RHP Juan Carela slated to make the start. Make your weekend a Fifth Third longer and stop by select Fifth Third Bank locations to get four free tickets to Thursday home games. Enjoy five select concession specials for $3 each through the fifth inning.