TAMPA, Fla. - Dermis Garcia and Diego Castillo each drove in a pair, and Tampa pitchers shut out the Florida Fire Frogs for the second time in three games as the Tarpons completed a three-game sweep with a 5-0 victory on Sunday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Estevan Florial worked a 10-pitch walk against Florida starter Hayden Deal to begin the bottom of the first. Deal needed just six pitches to strike out the next two batters before Garcia smashed the southpaw's first pitch for a two-run homer off the batter's eye.
After stranding a leadoff walk in the first, RHP Frank German retired the first two batters in the second before walking Rusber Estrada. Rain started pouring down, and home plate umpire John Benken stopped play, requesting the tarp.
32 minutes later, German returned to the mound and walked Brett Langhorne before striking out Isranel Wilson to end the frame. Deal (L, 3-4) did not return to the game after allowing two earned runs on one hit and one walk in the first, striking out two on 22 pitches (16 strikes).
Garcia drilled a leadoff double to the wall in center off RHP Lukas Young in the fourth and, one out later, scored when Castillo sliced a ground-rule double down the right field line. A wild pitch moved Castillo to third, and Wendell Rijo drove in the run with a sacrifice fly.
Kevin Josephina and Trey Harris reached on back-to-back singles off German to open the sixth. RHP Braden Bristo entered in relief and got two strikeouts before getting Langhorne to ground out to strand the runners.
German (W, 3-3) scattered five hits and three walks while tying a career-high with eight strikeouts in five scoreless innings, throwing 60 of 94 pitches for strikes. All three of the 21-year-old's wins this season have come against the Fire Frogs.
Florida (25-37) had a runner reach second base in each of the first six innings but finished 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
The Tarpons added one more run in the eighth when Oswaldo Cabrera singled and later scored on a two-out single by Castillo off RHP Brandon White.
Bristo (H, 1) retired nine-of-10 batters faced in a season-high three shutout relief innings, yielding one walk while striking out three. RHP Greg Weissert stranded a two-out triple by Michel and added a punchout in a scoreless ninth.
Garcia (3-for-3, HR, 2 2Bs, HBP, 2RBI, 2R) now leads the Florida State League with 14 home runs and 45 RBI. Castillo (2-for-3, 2B, HBP, 2RBI, R) logged his second-straight multi-hit game. Florial (0-for-2, 2BB, 2SB) has reached base safely in six-straight games.
Up next, Tampa hosts the Fort Myers Miracle for five games to wrap up the first half of the Florida State League schedule. In order to make up a game postponed in Fort Myers on 5/10, the series will begin with a double-header on Monday at 4:30 p.m.
RHP Rony Garcia (0-1, 2.45) is scheduled to start Game 1 for the Tarpons, with LHP JP Sears (3-2, 3.49) slated to start Game 2. The Miracle starting pitchers are TBA. 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.