TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons rallied for five runs in the first, RHP Blas Castaño earned his sixth-straight win, Madison Santos crushed a three-run homer in the fifth, and RHP Wellington Diaz tallied a career-high nine strikeouts over a scoreless three-plus relief innings to close out an 8-3 victory over
TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons rallied for five runs in the first, RHP Blas Castaño earned his sixth-straight win, Madison Santos crushed a three-run homer in the fifth, and RHP Wellington Diaz tallied a career-high nine strikeouts over a scoreless three-plus relief innings to close out an 8-3 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Tampa (72-39) ambushed Dunedin starter Dahian Santos in the first, sending all nine batters to the plate while scoring five runs on five hits. The righty bounced back by stranding a walk in a scoreless second before departing, walking two and striking out one on 45 pitches (23 strikes).
Trey Sweeney led off the first with a double to right and took third on a base hit by Jasson Dominguez before scoring on a single by Antonio Gomez. Dominguez then scored on a sacrifice fly by Cooper Bowman, and Anthony Garcia singled to right to drive home Gomez. Santos then walked and, one out and a double-steal later, Ryder Green hit a two- run single to left.
RHP Justin Kelley relieved Santos in the third and faced the minimum before Dominguez lined a leadoff double in the fifth. Bowman later reached on a fielder’s choice, and both runners scored on a two-out three-run home run to right-center by Santos, giving the Tarpons an 8-0 lead.
Castaño started for Tampa and retired 14 of the first 16 batters he faced, stranding a one-out double in the first and a two-out single in the fourth. A single and an error put two on with two outs in the fifth before Castaño induced a flyout to strand two more Blue Jays (53-60).
In the sixth, Castaño issued a pair of walks and, with one out, a double to right by Addison Barger put Dunedin on the board. PK Morris followed with a two-run single to left, cutting the lead to 8-3. One out later, Diaz entered and got a strikeout to end the frame.
Castaño (W, 6-1) allowed three runs on five hits and two walks over five and two-third innings, tallying seven strikeouts on 84 pitches (63 strikes) while earning his sixth-straight victory.
Tampa was held to a pair of walks by LHP Trenton Wallace over two scoreless innings in the seventh and eighth, and RHP Connor Cooke followed with a pair of strikeouts in a perfect ninth.
Diaz (SV, 2) struck out the side in both the seventh and eighth innings, tallying seven-straight strikeouts before issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth. The 24-year-old struck out two more while stranding the runner, closing the game while tying a career-high with nine strikeouts.
Gomez (1-for-1, 3BB, RBI, R) reached base safely in all four plate appearances. Dominguez (2-for-3, 2B, BB, 2R) logged a multi-hit game. Santos (1-for-3, HR, BB, 3RBI, 2R) clubbed his first home run since joining Tampa.
The series concludes with a Sunday matinee at 12:00 p.m., with RHP Jason Parker (4-3, 4.18) scheduled to square off against RHP Naswell Paulino (6-4, 4.12). On Stay Local Sunday, when fans purchase two (2) Tarpons Sunday game tickets, they receive one (1) FREE pass to a local area attraction.