TAMPA, Fla. -- Brandon Wagner lunched his 18th home run and Dom Thompson-Williams tallied a career-high three stolen bases, but the Tarpons fell to the Blue Jays, 5-2, on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Dunedin (16-7, 47-44) has now won 11 of its last 12 games and remains in first place in the North Division second-half standings. Tampa (12-10, 47-45) trails by three and a half games.
RHP Rony Garcia made his Tarpons debut and tallied two strikeouts while stranding a two-out double in a scoreless first before running into trouble in the second.
A pair of groundouts sandwiched a double by Rodrigo Orozco, but a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs. Santiago Espinal delivered a two-run single to left, giving the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
Tampa cut the deficit in half against RHP Maverik Buffo when Angel Aguilar singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a throwing error by Mineo before scoring on a groundout by Rashad Crawford in the bottom of the third.
After the second, Garcia retired nine-straight batters until Kevin Smith singled to open the sixth. Smith stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brock Lundquist. Orozco followed with a two-out single and scored on a double by Kacy Clemens, giving Dunedin a 4-1 lead.
Garcia (L, 0-1) allowed four earned runs on seven hits in six innings, walking two while striking out four. The 20-year-old threw 58 of 92 pitches for strikes.
Wagner led off the bottom of the sixth with a high fly ball just over the right field wall for a homer. Isiah Gilliam followed with a ground-rule double to left and Thompson-Williams flared a single to left, putting runners on the corners with no outs.
RHP Jonathan Cheshire relieved Buffo and Thompson-Williams stole second before a strikeout by Miguel Torres. A walk by Ben Ruta loaded the bases with one out, but Cheshire got a 4-6-3 double play from Aguilar to end the threat.
Buffo (W, 2-0) held the Tarpons to two earned runs on six hits, one walk and one hit-batter in five innings. The 22-year-old struck out three on 87 pitches (56 strikes).
The Blue Jays added their final run when Espinal homered off LHP Trevor Lane in the seventh. Lane allowed a run on two hits in two innings of relief, striking out two. RHP Matt Wivinis worked a perfect ninth.
Cheshire (H, 2) retired eight of the 10 batters he faced, scattering a pair of walks in three scoreless frames. LHP Jake Fishman (SV, 4) struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Thompson-Williams (2-for-3, BB, 3SB) tallied a career-high three stolen base. Wagner (2-for-4, HR, RBI, R) leads all Yankees minor leaguers with 17 home runs. Donny Sands (0-for-1, HBP) left the game fifth after being hit by a pitch on the left wrist.
The series concludes with a Sunday matinee at 1:00 p.m. LHP Dalton Lehnen (0-0, 2.79) will make the start against RHP Connor Eller (4-2, 3.10). On "Kids Funday Sunday," kids ages 14-and-under can enjoy half-off kids meals and run the bases after the game. Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tarpons Radio Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.