BRADENTON, Fla. - Led by another strong start from Seranthony Dominguez, the Clearwater Threshers evened up the four-game set at Bradenton with a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night.
The Threshers and Marauders are now tied for the best record in the Florida State League, with each moving to 9-4.
Clearwater pitchers matched a season-high with 14 strikeouts in the win. Dominguez struck out six in the start, while Jacob Waguespack and Luke Leftwich each added four. In just 13 games, the Threshers have whiffed 10 or more batters five times this season.
Zach Coppola belted his first career home run in the fifth inning, while Herlis Rodriguez launched his second of the season to lead the Threshers offense.
Video: Game Highlights: April 18, 2017
After Rodriguez wrapped one inside the right field line to put Clearwater up 1-0 in the second inning, Dominguez (2-0) held Bradenton at bay until the fourth.
Mitchell Tolman snuck a grounder just out of Wilson Garcia's reach down the first base line for a double to lead off the frame, the first hit of the game for Bradenton. Cole Tucker then put down a sacrifice bunt, but Damek Tomscha's throw to first got away, allowing Tolman to score the tying run.
Dominguez permitted just that unearned run in his five innings of work. He walked three, allowed only one hit, and struck out six in earning the victory.
With two out in the top of the fifth, Coppola put the Threshers back in front. He jumped on the first offering from Pedro Vasquez (0-1) and ripped a deep drive over the wall in right for his first professional home run, bumping Clearwater ahead 2-1.
The Threshers grabbed some crucial insurance against reliever Bret Helton in the sixth.
With two on and one out, Wilson Garcia lined a single to right to bring home Emmanuel Marrero from second. Deivi Grullon came through with a sacrifice fly to score Tomscha, extending the lead to 4-1.
Waguespack worked two scoreless in relief of Dominguez, permitting just one hit. Leftwich allowed a run in the ninth after three-straight singles, but worked through the rain to strike out the final two men he faced for the two-inning save.
The series continues on Wednesday when Clearwater sends No. 21 prospect Jose Taveras (1-0) to the hill, opposed by Pittsburgh's No. 2 prospect Mitch Keller (1-0) for Bradenton. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live on threshersbaseball.com beginning at 6:15 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.