Jose Taveras racked up nine strikeouts in six strong innings on Saturday, but Clearwater suffered its second-straight loss in falling 2-1 to the Jupiter Hammerheads at Roger Dean Stadium.
Drew Stankiewicz lined his fifth home run of the season out to right in the sixth inning to account for Clearwater's lone run.
The Threshers (34-28) still remain atop the Florida State League North, with just eight games left in first half play.
Clearwater benefitted from another strong start, but was outdueled for the second-straight day. The only blip against Taveras came in the fifth inning, when J.J. Gould lifted a solo home run to left to get Jupiter (27-34) on the board.
Taveras did not factor in the decision after permitting just one run on three hits in six innings. He did not issue a walk and struck out nine batters on 89 pitches, 68 strikes.
Clearwater starting pitchers have allowed only seven earned runs across 52 innings for a 1.21 ERA this month. No starter has permitted more than two runs in an outing in July.
Jupiter broke the one-all tie in the seventh inning facing reliever Tyler Gilbert (0-3). Dustin Geiger led off with a single to center, and with two outs Rodrigo Vigil doubled to left to plate the decisive run.
Cornelius Randolph finished 2-for-4, and is batting .290 across nine games this month.
The Threshers will have a chance to earn the series split on Sunday, as Franklyn Kilome (3-2) takes the mound against James Buckelew (0-0) at 1 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.