TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa pitchers held the Blue Jays to one run, but that was enough as Dunedin blanked the Tarpons in a one-hit shutout, 1-0, to take the rubber-game and win the series on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
RHP Miguel Yajure retired the first eight batters he faced before stranding an infield single and a walk in the third. The 21-year-old got two quick groundouts in the fourth before Dunedin (19-12) tallied three-straight hits.
Alejandro Kirk hooked a double into the left field corner and advanced to third on a base hit to left by Christian Williams before Demi Orimoloye served an RBI single into right, giving the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.
Yajure retired the next six batters before issuing a two-out walk to Kirk in the sixth. Williams followed with a single to left, but Orimoloye grounded into a force-out to end the frame.
Tampa (15-18) threatened in the third when Dunedin starter Graham Spraker hit Max Burt and Matt Pita with pitches to open the inning. A groundout by Diego Castillo pushed both runners into scoring position for rehabber Aaron Hicks .
Hicks hit a high pop-fly to shallow centerfield. Burt tagged from third, but centerfielder Cal Stevenson made the catch and threw a strike to the plate for a double-play to end the inning.
Spraker struck out Oswaldo Cabrera and Dermis Garcia to open the bottom of the fourth before Steven Sensley pulled a single into right. The ball bounced off the side wall and Sensely stretched for a double but was thrown out by right-fielder Ryan Noda.
RHP Braden Bristo worked a clean seventh before stranding a pair of baserunners in the eighth, striking out three in two scoreless relief innings. RHP Matt Wivinis struck out the side in the ninth.
RHP Emerson Jimenez (H, 1) struck out two while stranding a two-out walk of Sensley in the seventh. RHP Brad Wilson (H, 1) added a punchout in a perfect eighth and RHP Dany Jimenez (SV, 2) tallied a strikeout in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Yajure (L, 1-4) logged a quality start, yielding one earned run on five hits and two walks in six innings, striking out a pair of 83 pitches (55 strikes). 16 of the 18 outs recorded by Yajure were groundouts.
Spraker (W, 4-0) earned the win in his fourth-straight appearance, logging a quality start by holding Tampa to one hit, one walk and two hit-batters in six scoreless frames, tallying five strikeouts on 75 pitches (48 strikes).
Sensley (1-for-2, BB) reached base twice. Castillo (0-for-4) snapped a 20-game on-base streak. Hicks (0-for-3, BB) played all nine innings in centerfield in his third rehab game with Tampa and is now 0-for-11(BB, 3K) on his rehab assignment.
Up next, the Tarpons travel to Fort Myers for a three-game series at Hammond Stadium against the Fort Myers Miracle. LHP JP Sears (0-1, 4.70) is slated to start against LHP Tyler Watson (1-3, 5.06) in the series-opener at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Fort Myers Miracle Baseball Network.
The road trip will continue to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, where Tampa will battle the Palm Beach Cardinals for four games before returning home to host the Daytona Tortugas on Friday, May 17, at 6:30 p.m. On Sink-or-Swim Friday, fans can enjoy all-you-can-drink Bud, Bud Light and Select Liquors for $20 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.