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Tarpons Edge Threshers, 2-1, Behind Strong Pitching

Muñoz Tallies Season-High 8 Ks in 4.2 Scoreless Frames
Aldenis Sanchez logged his second-straight multi-hit game, including a go-ahead RBI double in the 4th on Saturday night at GMS Field. (Mark LoMoglio)
July 24, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. – Led by strong pitching, the Tampa Tarpons defeated the Clearwater Threshers, 2-1, on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa (47-23) became the first team in Minor League Baseball to score 500 runs this season. RHP Yoendrys Gomez got the nod and ran into early trouble

TAMPA, Fla. – Led by strong pitching, the Tampa Tarpons defeated the Clearwater Threshers, 2-1, on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa (47-23) became the first team in Minor League Baseball to score 500 runs this season.

RHP Yoendrys Gomez got the nod and ran into early trouble when a walk and an error led to two on with one out in the first. Abrahan Gutierrez blasted an RBI double just over the outstretched arm of Jasson Dominguez in center, giving Clearwater a 1-0 lead before Gomez got a strikeout and a flyout to limit the damage.

Carlos Narvaez became the first Tarpons batter to reach base against RHP Cristian Hernandez by leading off the bottom of the third with a game-tying blast to right. A base hit by Eduardo Torrealba, a double by Dominguez and a walk by Austin Wells loaded the bases, but Hernandez got Trevor Hauver to roll into a 4-6-3 double play to keep the game tied at 1-1.

Gomez bounced back with back-to-back perfect innings, retiring eight-straight before ending his outing. The 21-year-old held Clearwater to one unearned run on one hit and one walk in three innings, striking out three on 47 pitches (32 strikes) in a no-decision.

In the fourth, Tampa grabbed the lead when Ryder Green and Aldenis Sanchez connected on back-to-back one-out doubles to left. One out later, Sanchez stole third while Roberto Chirinos drew a two-out walk, but Hernandez got Torrealba to ground into a force out to strand a pair.

Hernandez (L, 2-5) tossed a perfect fifth to complete his start for Clearwater. The 20-year-old allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings, striking out eight on 76 pitches (49 strikes).

RHP Anderson Muñoz (W, 4-0) relieved Gomez in the fourth and tallied a season-high eight strikeouts while facing the minimum over four and two-third innings, tossing 58 pitches (37 strikes). The 22-year-old erased a leadoff single in the fourth with a double play, and a leadoff walk in the sixth with a caught-stealing by Wells.

Tampa put two on with one out in the sixth before RHP Gunner Mayer induced an inning-ending double play. Mayer worked around a leadoff hit-batter by getting another double play in the seventh and struck out the side in the eighth to complete three scoreless innings.

RHP Nelvin Correa got the final out of the eighth before returning for the ninth. A leadoff walk by Nicolas Torres put the tying run aboard for Clearwater. Two outs later, a fielding error by Chirinos at shortstop allowed Gutierrez to reach, but Correa (SV, 5) got Juan Aparicio to pop out to Wells in foul ground to lock down the win.

Sanchez (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) logged his second-straight multi-hit game, and his fifth multi-hit game in nine total games played with Tampa. Dominguez (1-for-4, 2B) extended his hitting streak to nine games.

The series concludes with a Sunday matinee at 12:00 p.m., with RHP Jhonatan Muñoz (2-3, 6.18) scheduled to square off against RHP Fernando Lozano (3-1, 2.08). On Stay Local Sunday, when fans purchase two (2) Tarpons Sunday game tickets, they receive one (1) FREE pass to a local area attraction.