Tarpons Tally 15 Hits, Rout Cardinals, 11-4

Palma Caps Seven-Run Fifth with Grand Slam

Pablo Olivares, Alexander Palma and Leonardo Molina celebrate after Tampa's 11-4 win over Palm Beach on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Mark LoMoglio)

By Nick Flammia / Tampa Tarpons | August 14, 2019 9:40 PM

TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons exploded for seven runs in the fifth and added four more in the seventh, tying a season-high with 15 hits while crushing the Palm Beach Cardinals, 11-4, on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.


RHP Miguel Yajure started the game with back-to-back strikeouts before Palm Beach (18-36, 53-65) tallied three-straight two-out hits. Nolan Gorman singled and scored on a double by Luken Baker, and Nick Dunn added an RBI single to right, giving the Cardinals a 2-0 lead.


A pair of double-plays helped RHP Kyle Leahy keep Tampa (27-26, 55-64) off the board for the first four frames before the Tarpons erupted in the fifth.


Mickey Gasper and Donny Sands both singled before a walk by Steven Sensley loaded the bases with no outs. Every runner moved up a spot as Leonardo Molina looped an RBI single to right before Pablo Olivares hit a fly ball to center.


Centerfielder Scott Hurst lost the ball in the lights, and two runs scored as Olivares reached and took second on a throw to the plate. One out later, Oswaldo Cabrera was intentionally walked, and Alexander Palma delivered a grand slam to left, giving the Tarpons a 7-2 lead.


Leahy (L, 0-4) got a pair of flyouts to end the fifth and worked around a one-out double by Sensley in the sixth to complete six innings. The 22-year-old allowed a career-high seven earned runs on eight hits, walking four while striking out two on 99 pitches (62 strikes).


Following the RBI single by Dunn in the first, Yajure retired 16-straight Cardinals before Baker and Dunn lined back-to-back singles to open the seventh. A wild pitch advanced the runners and, one out later, Baker scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Plummer.


Yajure (W, 8-6) struck out Bryce Denton to complete the seventh, logging his 11th quality start. The 21-year-old allowed three earned runs on five hits, walking none while striking out nine on 96 pitches (66 strikes). Yajure has completed seven innings in five of his last six starts.


Garcia and Cabrera lined back-to-back singles and performed a double-steal off RHP Edgar Escobar in the seventh. Both scored on a two-out single to right by Diego Castillo . Gasper followed with a base hit, and Sands drove in two more with a triple to the wall in left-center.


Zack Gahagan greeted LHP Edgar Barclay with a leadoff triple in the eighth and scored on a groundout by Hurst. Barclay later stranded a two-out single by Gorman and closed the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.


Gahagan moved from second base to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and stranded a pair of two-out singles by Garcia and Cabrera to post his third scoreless pitching appearance.


All nine Tarpons scored at least one run. Cabrera (3-for-4, BB, 2R, SB) reached base four times. Olivares (2-for-4, BB, 2RBI, R), Garcia (2-for-5, R, SB), Gasper (2-for-4, 2R) and Sands (2-for-4, 3B, 2RBI, R) also had multi-hit games. Sands is on a season-best eight-game hitting streak.


Palma (1-for-5, GS, 4RBI, R) homered for the second-straight night and has now homered five times in 17 games since being activated off the 60-Day Injured List. Castillo (1-for-4, 2RBI, R) is now on a 13-game on-base streak.


The series concludes on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with RHP Frank German (4-4, 4.00) slated to be activated off the 7-Day Injured List to make the start against RHP Alvaro Seijas (2-1, 3.35). Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.


On "Taco Thursday," fans can enjoy an all-you-can-eat Taco and Nacho bar for $10, House Margaritas for $6 and Coronas for $4 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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