CLEARWATER, Fla. - Wilson Garcia tallied two doubles, one RBI and one trip across the plate, but the Threshers lost the third game in a four-game series to Lakeland on Saturday night, 8-2 at Spectrum Field.
The Flying Tigers (53-58, 23-22) started things off early, scoring their first two runs in the first inning.
Leadoff man Jake Robson drew a walk and later reached second after a failed pickoff attempt by Ranger Suarez (2-3) got past first baseman Garcia. Sergio Alcantara then hit a hard groundball down the left field for an RBI double, scoring Robson.
Lakeland's second run of the inning came off a line drive to center from Josh Lester that plated Alcantara, making it 2-0.
Clearwater (61-58, 23-26) cut the early lead in the bottom of the first.
Mirroring the top half of the inning, Mark Laird drew a base-on-balls to put the leadoff man on. Cornelius Randolph grounded out to second to move the runner to scoring position.
With one man on and one out, Garcia sent a fly ball to the warning track in center that dropped in for an RBI double and brought the deficit to 2-1.
Lakeland extended its lead in the fifth.
Robson drew his second walk of the night, and Alcantara hit a chopper fair past third base. Due to fan interference, the hit was called a ground-rule double, putting two men in scoring position.
Those men would score thanks to a three-run homer by Josh Lester. The lefty hitter sent a ball high over the right-field fence making it 5-1.
The Threshers gained more ground in the sixth inning.
Garcia crushed his second double of the night into right field to put a runner in scoring position with two outs. Zach Green then hit an RBI single to left to plate Garcia and cut the deficit to 5-2.
Lakeland bolstered its lead with three runs in the seventh off rehabbing reliever Pedro Beato.
Ranger Suarez gave up five runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work to suffer the loss.
Tyler Gilbert pitched 1.1 shutout innings, and Aaron Brown gave up just one hit in his two innings of work. Beato allowed three runs on three hits in his rehab performance.
The Threshers and Lakeland return to Spectrum Field Sunday afternoon for the final game of the series. Harold Arauz has the start against Gregory Soto at 1 p.m., and the game will be broadcast live by Kirsten Karbach starting at 12:45 p.m. on threshersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.