TAMPA, Fla. - In a game that featured four lead changes, Clearwater hit a trio of home runs and outlasted Tampa, 5-4, to take a 2-0 lead in the four-game series on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Tampa (7-10, 35-48) opened the scoring with some timely hitting off RHP Kyle Glogoski in the second. Diego Castillo singled and stole second before a two-out walk by Leonardo Molina , and both scored on a double into left-center by Jason Lopez for a 2-0 lead.
RHP Janson Junk tossed a perfect first and stranded a pair of runners in the second before Clearwater (12-6, 48-36) struck in the third. Simon Muzziotti drew a one-out walk and scored on the ensuing double to right-center by Matt Vierling, cutting the lead to 2-1.
Rodolfo Duran lined a double off the base of the left field wall to open the fourth and, one out later, scored on a two-run home run by Daniel Mayer, putting the Threshers ahead, 3-2.
Glogoski retired eight-straight batters before Lopez reached on a throwing error by shortstop Daniel Brito with one out in the fifth.
David Metzgar followed with a double down the left field line, and Lopez scored on a sacrifice fly by Estevan Florial to tie the game. Pablo Olivares followed with a two-out single to right, scoring Metzgar from second to put the Tarpons back in front, 4-3.
Glogoski allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits in five innings, yielding one walk while striking out four on 76 pitches (48 strikes).
The lead was short-lived as, after Junk fired a 1-2-3 fifth, Duran jumped on the first pitch he saw in the sixth and delivered a leadoff home run to tie the game at 4-4.
Junk retired seven of the final eight batters he faced through six innings, yielding four earned runs on five hits. The 23-year-old walked three, struck out four and threw 49 of 88 pitches for strikes.
LHP Anderson Severino (L, 1-1) tossed a perfect seventh before Madison Stokes led off the eighth with a first-pitch home run to right-center, giving the Threshers a 5-4 lead.
Later in the inning, Clearwater loaded the bases, but Severino escaped on a double-play, as Dalton Guthrie flew out to shallow center and Florial threw Luke Williams out at the plate while attempting to tag and score from third.
RHP Oscar Marcelino (W, 2-0) tallied a pair of strikeouts while retiring all six batters he faced in the sixth and seventh. LHP Zach Warren (SV, 5) threw a perfect eighth and got three strikeouts while stranding the tying run in the ninth.
RHP Kyle Zurak tacked on a punchout while retiring the side in order in the top of the ninth for Tampa. Molina (0-for-3, BB) extended his on-base streak to 11 games. Lopez (1-for-3, 2B, 2RBI, R) snapped an 0-for-11 skid. Cabrera (0-for-4) snapped a seven-game hit streak.
The series continues on Saturday when Tampa's three-day July 4th celebration concludes with 'Merica Land of the FREE Night. RHP Miguel Yajure (4-6, 2.21) is expected to start against RHP Colton Eastman (4-3, 3.00). Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.