CLEARWATER, Fla. - Sixto Sanchez (0-2) made his home debut on Friday Night at Spectrum Field, but a three-run fifth inning would be enough to keep the Flying Tigers on top as the Threshers fell, 3-2. Zach Green's bat backed the starter, going 3-for-4 on the night.
Clearwater (61-57, 23-25) took the lead for the first time in three games in the fourth inning. Cornelius Randolph singled after a ball was tipped off the glove of Tigers shortstop Sergio Alcantara. A passed ball moved Randolph up to second and a groundout by Wilson Garcia put him on third base. With two outs, Green hit an RBI single to left-centerfield scoring Randolph to put the Threshers up 1-0.
Lakeland (52-58, 22-22) answered shortly after in the top of the fifth.
Sanchez issued the only walk of the game to Cam Gibson, and Will Allen singled to put a man in scoring position. Ignacio Valdez blasted a triple past third and into the right field corner that sent both Gibson and Allen across the plate.
Jose Azocar then hit a ball toward shortstop Jose Gomez who made a quick throw in attempt to get Azocar out at first, but the ball hit off the top of the glove of Garcia, allowing Azocar to reach and Valdez to score. The three-run inning by the Tigers gave them a 3-1 lead.
Green cut the deficit to one run in the seventh. He hit a solo long ball to the seats in left on the first pitch of the inning to make it 3-2.
Sanchez gave up three runs on six hits in his home debut for the Threshers, suffering the loss. Luke Leftwich and Seth McGarry pitched a combined three scoreless innings to finish the game.
The Threshers take on the Flying Tigers in game three of the four-game series Saturday night. Ranger Suarez is slated to pitch against Sandy Baez with a 6:15 p.m. start. Kirsten Karbach will be on the call for the Threshers Broadcast Network starting at 6 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.