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Way, Tarpons Flirt with No-No in 8-2 Win Over Mets

Bowman, Cowles Homer; Tampa Takes 4-of-6 in Series
RHP Beck Way held St. Lucie hitless over a scoreless 4.2IP in Tampa's 8-2 win on Sunday afternoon at GMS Field. (Mark LoMoglio)
August 22, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons grabbed an early lead while RHP Beck Way and the pitching staff carried a no-hitter into the eighth as Tampa secured a series victory by defeating the St. Lucie Mets, 8-2, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Trey Sweeney jumpstarted the Tampa offense

TAMPA, Fla. – The Tarpons grabbed an early lead while RHP Beck Way and the pitching staff carried a no-hitter into the eighth as Tampa secured a series victory by defeating the St. Lucie Mets, 8-2, on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Trey Sweeney jumpstarted the Tampa offense in the first with a leadoff triple over the head of Rowedy Jordan in center and scored when a relay throw trickled into the third base dugout.

Later in the frame, two hit batters and a fielder’s choice resulted in Ryder Green at second, and Tyler Hardman at first with one out. The duo committed a double steal, and Green beat a throw to the plate as Ben Rice reached on a fielder’s choice. Benjamin Cowles followed with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Hardman for an early 3-0.

In the second, Evan Alexander worked a one-out walk and took second on a groundout before stealing third. Cooper Bowman followed with a two-out RBI double to the wall in left-center.

RHP Kolby Kubichek (L, 0-1) worked around an error in a scoreless third to finish his start for St. Lucie. The 21-year-old allowed four runs on two hits, a walk and two hit-batters over three innings, striking out two on 45 pitches (24 strikes).

Way struck out the side in the first and retired 12 of the first 13 batters he faced before a walk and a hit-batter put two on with no outs in the fifth. After a mound visit, Way struck out the next two batters before departing. RHP Jhonatan Muñoz entered in relief and, after issuing a walk, got Rowdey Jordan to fly out to leave the bases loaded.

Way held the Mets hitless over four and two-third scoreless innings, issuing two walks and a hit-batter while striking out seven on 74 pitches (47 strikes). The 22-year-old has not allowed an earned run over his last 19 innings pitched, lowering his ERA to 2.68.

In the fifth, Bowman clobbered a leadoff home run off RHP Trey McLoughlin – his second home run in as many days. One out later, Hardman drilled a double down the left field line and scored on a base hit to right by Rice, giving the Tarpons a 6-0 lead.

Facing RHP Sammy Tavarez in the seventh, Rice kept the inning alive with a two-out walk, and Cowles cashed in with a two-run homer over the short porch in right, giving Tampa an 8-0 lead.

Muñoz W, 5-3) issued a trio of walks in the sixth, loading the bases with one out, but escaped with 6-4-3 double play by Warren Saunders. RHP Enrique Santana struck out a pair while stranding a two-out walk in the seventh, taking a combined no-hitter into the eighth.

After a groundout began the frame, Kevin Kendall lined a 3-2 pitch into center for a base hit, ending the bid. Santana walked the next two batters before LHP Michael Giacone entered with the bases loaded. Kendall scored on a sacrifice fly by Saunders before Giacone struck out Jose Colina for the third out.

In the ninth, St. Lucie got one more run back when Cesar Berbesi walked and scored on a double into the left field corner by Jordan, but Giacone retired the next two batters to close out the game, securing the series for Tampa.

Sweeney (2-for-4, 3B, BB, R) and Bowman (2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, 2RBI, R) reached base three times apiece. Roberto Chirinos (2-for-4) also logged a multi-hit game.

Up next, the Tarpons play 13-straight away games, starting with a seven-game series (including a Wednesday doubleheader) against the Clearwater Threshers at Baycare Ballpark. TBA is scheduled to start the series-opener for Tampa on Tuesday, August 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Following a six-game series in Bradenton, the Tarpons will return home to host the Dunedin Blue Jays on Tuesday, September 7 at 6:30 p.m. On Tail Waggin’ $2 Tuesday, fans can enjoy $2 select concession items through the 2nd inning AND bring your dog to the game with the purchase of a $2 dog ticket.