Edgar Garcia delivered five innings of one-run ball on Friday, but Clearwater was limited to just five hits in suffering a 2-0 loss to the Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Stadium.
The Threshers (34-27) maintain the lead on the Daytona Tortugas in the Florida State League North, with just nine games remaining in the first half.
Garcia (1-2) continued Clearwater's string of dominant starting pitching over the last eight games, working five innings and permitting just one run on four hits and two walks while striking out a season-high seven batters. Threshers starters have pitched to a 1.17 ERA in eight contests in July.
Cord Sandberg and Mark Laird combined for four of Clearwater's five hits. Sandberg is 6-for-14 (.429) with three doubles in four games since returning from Lakewood.
The Threshers faced a Major League rehabber on the hill for the fourth time this week, as Junichi Tazawa hurled two innings of one-hit ball in his first appearance for Jupiter.
The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning. Brian Schales led off the frame with a home run to left-center off Garcia, putting Jupiter ahead 1-0.
Jupiter's second run came in the sixth, when Angel Reyes greeted reliever Harold Arauz with a double and scored on a single by Dustin Geiger.
Trevor Richards (6-4) earned the win for the Hammerheads (26-34), striking out seven in six scoreless innings. Richards has not allowed a run in his last 12 innings of work.
Tyler Kinley set the Threshers down in order in the ninth to earn his fourth save.
Clearwater will look to take the edge in the series on Saturday, when Jose Taveras (5-2) takes the hill against Scott Squier (2-6) with first pitch at 5:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.