TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa pitchers were overwhelmed by the Lakeland offense on Saturday night as the Tarpons fell to the Flying Tigers, 10-3, at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa hitters struck out 14 times while Lakeland put up crooked numbers in the fifth and seventh, with five of its 11
TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa pitchers were overwhelmed by the Lakeland offense on Saturday night as the Tarpons fell to the Flying Tigers, 10-3, at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Tampa hitters struck out 14 times while Lakeland put up crooked numbers in the fifth and seventh, with five of its 11 hits going for extra bases.
Tampa (44-20) opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Austin Wells drove a triple to the wall in right-center and scored on a two-out line drive to left by Andres Chaparro. Ryder Green extended the frame with a walk, and Chaparro scored as Roberto Chirinos reached on a fielding error by third baseman Nick Quintana, giving the Tarpons a 2-0 lead.
RHP Jhonatan Muñoz held the Flying Tigers hitless over the first three innings before yielding a leadoff single by Eliezer Alfonzo in the fourth. Jake Holton followed with a double to left, and a walk loaded the bases before Alfonzo was forced home when Nick Quintana was hit by a pitch.
RHP Wellington Diaz relieved Muñoz and induced a shallow fly out by Kingston Liniak before striking out the next two batters to strand the bases loaded, preserving a 2-1 lead for Tampa. Muñoz allowed one run on two hits, three walks and a hit-batter over three innings, striking out one on 52 pitches (33 strikes) in a no-decision.
In the fifth, Diaz (L, 3-1) ran into trouble of his own when Jose King singled and Colt Keith walked to open the inning. Later, both advanced on a balk before scoring on a two-run single by Holton. LHP Michael Giacone entered in relief and, with two outs, allowed an RBI double by Quintana before ending the frame, with Lakeland (23-40) leading, 4-2.
RHP Logan Shore opened for the Flying Tigers and allowed one run on three hits and a walk in two and a third innings, striking out three on 33 pitches (19 strikes). RHP Matt Walker (W, 2-0) followed by holding Tampa to one unearned run on two hits and two walks, striking out six over three and two-third innings.
After working a 1-2-3 sixth, Giacone allowed an infield single by Keith one out into the seventh, followed by a two-run home run to right by Alfonzo. One out later, a walk and a single led to a pitching change. RHP Enrique Santana entered with runners on the corners, and a wild pitch scored a run before an RBI single by Liniak gave Lakeland an 8-2 lead.
Tampa got a run back in the seventh when Trevor Hauver hit a solo home run into the Seminole Hard Rock Cabanas in deep right-center – his eighth of the season. The Flying Tigers answered in the eighth when Keith doubled and later scored on a wild pitch. Quintana added a solo home run in the ninth to make it 10-3.
RHP Chris Mauloni (SV, 1) held the Tarpons to one run on one hit and one walk while striking out five over the final three innings to pick up his first save of the season for Lakeland.
Hauver (2-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, R) logged his third straight multi-hit game and is batting .375 (21-for-56) over 17 games in July. Sanchez (2-for-4, 2B) has multiple hits in three of his four games played since joining Tampa, batting .529 (9-for-17) in that span.
The series concludes with a Sunday matinee at 12:00 p.m., with RHP Yoendrys Gomez (0-0, 3.71) scheduled to square off against RHP Nick Davila (2-3, 2.45). On Stay Local Sunday, when fans purchase two (2) Tarpons Sunday game tickets, they receive one (1) FREE pass to a local area attraction.