TAMPA, Fla. - RHP Miguel Yajure went the distance in a 4-1 triumph in Game One while a trio of Tarpons combined to blank the Threshers in Game Two, 2-0, as Tampa won both ends of a doubleheader to salvage a split of the four-game series against Clearwater on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The Tarpons struck early in Game One against RHP Colton Eastman. Estevan Florial lined a one-out single into right and scored when Donny Sands hooked a hanging curveball into the left field corner for an RBI double, giving Tampa (9-10, 37-48) a 1-0 lead.
Steven Sensley led off the bottom of the second with a double into the right field corner and advanced to third on a base hit to left by David Metzgar before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Omar Carrizales for a 2-0 advantage.
Yajure held the Threshers scoreless until Danny Mayer crushed a 3-0 fastball over the left field wall for a solo home run with two outs in the fifth, cutting the lead in half.
Tampa quickly responded by scoring twice in the home half of the fifth. Florial singled to right and, after a walk by Sands, scored on a pinch-hit bloop single to center by Leonardo Molina . Sands later scored as Sensley reached on a throwing error by first-baseman Matt Kroon.
Yajure (W, 5-6) struck out the last four batters he faced while retiring seven-straight to cap his first-career complete game. The 21-year-old held Clearwater to one earned run on two hits and one walk while striking out six on a season-high 102 pitches (58 strikes).
Eastman (L, 4-4) allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings, walking one while striking out four on 99 pitches (70 strikes) for Clearwater (12-8, 48-38).
RHP Trevor Stephan "opened" for Tampa in Game Two and struck out a pair in two scoreless frames, yielding two hits while walking none on 30 pitches (20 strikes).
Stephan faced the minimum in the first after Jhailyn Ortiz, following his one-out single, was caught stealing by catcher Jason Lopez . In the second, Simon Muzziotti slapped a one-out single to left and stole second but was stranded as Stephan retired the next two batters.
RHP Alejandro Requena held Tampa hitless until Carrizales reached on a bunt single with one out in the third. One out later, Carrizales advanced to third on a hit-and-run single to left by Pablo Olivares , placing runners on the corners.
Florial followed with a base hit deflected into right field by first-baseman Luke Miller, scoring Carrizales while allowing Olivares to take third. Oswaldo Cabrera kept the rally going with a third-straight two-out single, plating Olivares for a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Molina reached on a missed catch error by shortstop Nick Maton in between a pair of singles by Lopez and Metzgar as the Tarpons loaded the bases with no outs. Requena escaped the inning by getting a strikeout and a 4-6-3 double-play.
LHP JP Sears (W, 4-4) relieved Stephan in the third and retired the first 10 batters he faced before stranding a one-out walk in the sixth. The 23-year-old tallied three strikeouts on 53 pitches (37 strikes) in four hitless/scoreless relief innings.
Requena (L, 6-6) tied a season-high with eight strikeouts and walked none while yielding two earned runs on six hits and one hit-batter in six innings, throwing 66 of 86 pitches for strikes in his fifth quality start of the season.
RHP Matt Wivinis (SV, 5) closed the game with a punchout in a 1-2-3 seventh, securing Tampa's seventh shutout victory of the season.
Florial (3-for-7, RBI, 2R), Olivares (2-for-7, R, SB) and Metzgar (2-for-5) hits safely in both ends of the doubleheader. Sands (2-for-2, 2B, BB, RBI, R) reached base safely in all three of his plate appearances in Game One.
The homestand continues on Monday at 6:30 p.m. when the Tarpons open a four-game series against the first-place Dunedin Blue Jays. RHP Jio Orozco (2-2, 3.76) is slated start for Tampa against RHP Turner Larkins (5-4, 3.10). 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.