Tampa Throws No-Hitter, but Clearwater Sweeps Twin Bill

Garcia K's 12 in Seven Perfect Innings

RHP Deivi Garcia tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts over seven perfect innings for the Tarpons in Game 2 of Monday night's doubleheader at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia | August 6, 2018 10:08 PM

TAMPA, Fla. -- After dropping the opener of a doubleheader in extra innings, 4-3, the Tampa Tarpons managed to lose the second game, 1-0, despite holding the Clearwater Threshers hitless for eight innings on Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.


RHP Deivi Garcia returned to the Tarpons and retired all 21 batters he faced while tying a career-high with 12 strikeouts over seven perfect innings. The 19-year-old threw 56 of 82 pitches for strikes and had just three three-ball counts on batters. It was Garcia's first game with Tampa since making a spot-start against St. Lucie on June 5th.


After a two-out triple by Dom Thompson-Williams in the first, LHP McKenzie Mills (W, 2-5) held the Tarpons to one walk, two hit-batters and a pair of infield singles through the rest of his scoreless seven innings. Mills threw 53 of 85 pitches for strikes.


Clearwater (27-16, 59-52) did not have a base runner until Luke Williams became the extra-inning runner when the scoreless game moved into the eighth. RHP Christian Morris (L, 1-2) relieved Garcia and Henri Lartigue grounded a ball back to the mound. Williams broke for third and Morris threw to Diego Castillo at second. Castillo attempted to throw Williams out at third, but dropped the ball.


After a groundout by Edgar Cabral, Daniel Brito rolled one to first baseman Steven Sensley . Williams scored as Sensley's throw to the plate arrived late, giving the Threshers a 1-0 lead. Morris got a strikeout and a groundout to keep Clearwater hitless.


Angel Aguilar was placed at second to begin the bottom of the eighth and RHP Alberto Tirado (SV, 1) relieved Mills. Tirado struck out Sensley and got a fly out by Jerry Seitz before getting a lineout by Daniel Barrios to record his first save since 2015.


Tampa (20-24, 55-59) jumped ahead in the first game, scoring three runs on three hits in the first off RHP Mauricio Llovera. Estevan Florial reached on an error and Hoy Jun Park singled into left-center before Thompson-Williams hit a ground-rule double over the left field wall. One out later, Ben Ruta lined a two-run double to left.


Llovera went on to retire the final 17 batters he faced in a quality start, holding the Tarpons to two earned runs on three hits in six innings. The 22-year-old walked one and struck out two on 75 pitches (51 strikes).


RHP Garrett Whitlock got a double play to work out of a jam in the first, but Clearwater tacked on a run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Raul Rivas.


Whitlock then stranded a pair of runners in the third and fired a perfect fourth before yielding a leadoff homer by Gabriel Lino in the fifth. Two outs later, Mickey Moniak tripled into the right field corner, but a groundout by J.P. Crawford preserved the lead.


RHP Hobie Harris relieved Whitlock in the sixth and, after two quick outs, allowed a game-tying home run by Kyle Martin over the wall in right. Harris (BS, 2) returned for the seventh and stranded two runners to keep the game tied at 3-3.


In the bottom of the seventh, Clearwater gave the ball to its closer, RHP Addison Reed, and the Tarpons went down in order, sending the game into extras.


Crawford began the eighth inning at second and RHP Greg Weissert (L, 1-1) entered for Tampa. Crawford advanced to third on a groundout by Lartigue before scoring on a sacrifice fly by Williams, giving the Threshers their first lead of the game.


Sensley began the home half at second and Reed (W, 3-0) struck out the first two hitters. After a four-pitch walk to Florial, Reed got a fly out by Park to end the game.


Whitlock allowed two earned runs on six hits in five innings, walking two while striking out two on 77 pitches (51 strikes) in a no-decision.


Thompson-Williams (2-for-6, 3B, 2B, RBI) and Ruta (2-for-6, 2B, 2RBI, CS) hit safely in both ends of the doubleheader. Tampa was caught stealing three times in game two.


The no-hitter was the first for Tampa since July 12, 2012, when RHP Jose Ramirez (6) and RHP Branden Pinder (1) combined for seven innings vs. St. Lucie.


The Tarpons will try to snap a six-game slide when the series continues on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. RHP Rony Garcia (0-2, 3.52) will square off against LHP Bailey Falter (5-4, 3.39). Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tarpons Radio Network.


On "Tasty Tuesday," fans can enjoy a $24 all-you-can-eat menu from 6:00-8:00 p.m., including: hot dogs, chicken tenders, nachos, fries, popcorn, and fountain soda.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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