TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons (24-26, 52-64) had their losing streak stretched to five games as the Charlotte Stone Crabs scored early and often before cruising to a 9-0 victory, clinching a four-game sweep on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Charlotte jumped on RHP Clarke Schmidt in the first, getting back-to-back singles by Jake Palomaki and Wander Franco, followed by an RBI double by Kaleo Johnson. A wild pitch later plated Franco, but Schmidt got two strikeouts and a groundout to limit the damage.
Schmidt followed with a scoreless second, but Franco singled to lead off the third and scored as left-fielder Pablo Olivares bobbled a base hit by Johnson. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, and Johnson was forced out at the plate as Michael Smith reached on a fielder's choice.
Garrett Whitley followed with a two-run single into center and, one out later, Jermaine Palacios lined a two-run single to right, giving Charlotte (37-15, 72-46) a 7-0 lead.
Schmidt (L, 4-5) allowed seven earned runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit-batter in three innings, tallying four strikeouts on 64 pitches (42 strikes).
Steven Sensley and Donny Sands hit back-to-back, two-out singles in the second, but were stranded by RHP Tobias Myers. Olivares lined a one-out double into the left field corner in the third and, one out later, Estevan Florial drew a walk, but the pair were left on base.
Myers (W, 6-1) also worked around a leadoff single by Diego Castillo in the fourth and a two-out single by Wilkerman Garcia in the fifth, completing five scoreless frames. The 21-year-old scattered six hits and one walk while striking out three on 76 pitches (51 strikes).
Franco and Johnson greeted RHP Hobie Harris with back-to-back singles in the fourth. One out later, Zach Rutherford lined a single to right, scoring Franco. Later, a two-out double by Whitley plated Johnson for a 9-0 lead.
Harris bounced back with a scoreless fifth, stranding a one-out single by Palomaki. LHP Anderson Severino took over in the sixth and tallied four strikeouts while scattering three singles over a scoreless three innings.
RHP Simon Rosenblum-Larson (SV, 7) relieved Myers in the sixth and retired the first six batters he faced before stranding a pair of walks in a hitless eighth. The 22-year-old stranded one more walk in the ninth to end the game, tallying four strikeouts in four scoreless frames.
Mickey Gasper went 0-for-3 (BB) at the plate before taking the mound in the ninth. The infielder worked around a pair of singles while inducing two flyouts and a pop-out notch a scoreless inning in his first professional pitching appearance.
Sands (1-for-3, BB) extended his hitting streak to seven games and is hitting .333 (12-for-36) over his last 11 games. Olivares (2-for-3, 2B, BB) reached base three times, snapping an 0-for-12 slide. Castillo (1-for-4) extended his on-base streak to 10 games.
The home stand continues on Monday at 6:30 p.m., with RHP Glenn Otto (1-2, 2.50) getting the start in the opener of a four-game series vs. the Palm Beach Cardinals. Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
On "Dog-On Mondays," fans can bring their dog to the ballpark with the purchase of a $2 dog ticket. Fans can also purchase an $8 lower reserved ticket that includes a hot dog, chips and a small drink (Special only available for purchase at the GMS Field Box Office).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.