CLEARWATER - Jan Hernandez hit a two-run walk-off homer to beat Daytona (39-60, 6-28), 4-2, Thursday night in Clearwater. It was Clearwater's sixth walk-off victory of the year and the 14th home run for Hernandez, most in the league among active players.
RHP Jonathan Crawford got the ball for Daytona and took a no-hitter to the sixth. He faced the minimum through the first five innings, allowing just a walk. The no-hitter was lost when Jose Pujols doubled to center to open the sixth. The shutout was then lost a batter later when Austin Bossart doubled home Pujols. Crawford would later walk in a run and turn it over the bullpen after five plus innings.
Daytona would respond, trailing 2-1, in the top of the seventh. Reydel Medina ripped a two-out triple to center to score Daniel Sweet from first base to tie the game. However, Medina tried to make it a round tripper and was thrown out at the plate by more than 10 feet on a throw from Carlos Duran. The Tortugas settled for a tie at stretch time.
The game would remian tied until the bottom of the ninth. RHP Ryan Hendrix issued a one out walk before Hernandez belted a home run to left field for the win.
Daytona's inital run scored on a James Vasquez double to right field in the third inning.
RHP Trevor Bettencourt (1-0) earned the win in relief for two scoreless frames. Hendrix (0-2) allowed the home run in 1 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Crawford turned in his best start of the year, but did not factor in the decision. He allowed two runs and three hits in five plus innings, striking out five. He threw a pitch in the sixth inning for the second time this year.
The series concludes Friday in Clearwater. RHP Wyatt Strahan will get the ball for Daytona in hopes of his first win. First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM with The Metcare Pregame Show beginning at 6:05 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB.
NOTES: Daniel Sweet is 7-for-15 in the series and has multiple hits in four of his last five games against Clearwater...Crawford has one win in 24 career starts with Daytona...The Tortugas will have a chance Friday to win their first series since June 4th (0-12)...Thursday was the seventh time an opponent has walked-off on the Tortugas this year.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.