DAYTONA BEACH, FL - Gavin LaValley smacked two of the four long balls for the Tortugas in a 10-9 triumph against the Dunedin Blue Jays on Monday evening at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
For the second consecutive night, Dunedin got on the board in the first. Max Pentecost rolled a grounder to third, scoring Cavan Biggio, to give the Blue Jays the lead. Juan Kelly's RBI knock, a batter later, plated Bradley Jones to give the D-Jays a 2-0 edge.
A two-out rally brought the Tortugas a run closer in the second. Chadwick Tromp's RBI two-bagger to right-center brought in Chris Okey after he had singled with two outs to make it 2-1.
A Carl Wise sacrifice-fly in the third gave Dunedin a two-run advantage again. That lead expanded to 6-1 in the sixth, as Josh Almonte and Biggio produced a two-run triple and RBI single, respectively, to give the Blue Jays their largest margin of the contest.
The sixth inning rally began slowly for the Tortugas. Only one of the first three batters reached against RHP Conor Fisk, a Daniel Sweet base-hit, to put a man on with two outs. Nick Senzel then smacked a fly ball over the scoreboard in left for his fourth big fly of the season to cut into the lead, 6-3. LaValley made it back-to-back shots with his towering solo blast to left on the very next pitch.
Almonte's infield single, and a subsequent throwing error by Alfredo Rodriguez, forced an unearned run in off of RHP Jake Paulson in the seventh to make it a three-run game again, 7-4.
Daytona would send nine men to the plate, notching six tallies with two outs, in the bottom of the seventh. Rodriguez singled home Mitch Piatnik, after he had doubled, to keep the inning alive. Sweet singled again to set the stage for Shed Long, who smacked his second homer in as many nights over the left field fence to give the Tortugas their first lead, 8-7. LaValley's massive bomb that stayed just fair in the left-field corner brought him and Senzel in to balloon the lead to 10-7.
Dunedin scored single runs in the eighth and ninth but it wasn't enough. An RBI groundout by Biggio scored D.J. Davis in the eighth. J.C. Cardenas poked one back up the middle in the ninth to plate Connor Panas and trim the deficit to 10-9. RHP Zack Weiss would strike out Davis for the final out of the night, stranding the tying run on base.
Paulson (3-3) yielded four hits and two runs, one earned, over 1 2/3 frames. He relieved starter RHP Wyatt Strahan, who tossed three innings of three-run ball, allowing five hits with five strikeouts in his first action since April 26th, 2016. Weiss got his first save since August, 2015, surrendering three hits and a run over 1 2/3 innings.
Fisk (3-6) gave up three home-runs for the first time in his career, and seven runs or more for the second time, over his 2 2/3 stanzas. Former Big-Leaguer RHP Lucas Harrell enabled two hits and one run, with three punchouts, in four innings of work.
The Tortugas go for the four-game sweep of the Blue Jays on Taco Tuesday and Silver Sluggers Night at The Jack. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, with The Metcare Pregame Show beginning at 6:50 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB.
Notes: The Tortugas hit four home-runs for the first time since July 18th of last season in an 11-5 home win over Jupiter…Daytona now has 10 multi-homer games this season…Gavin LaValley notched his second multi-homer assignment as a Tortuga…Jake Paulson earned his first win since April 21st against St. Lucie, pitching in front of his parents Monday night…Zack Weiss recorded his first save since August 31st, 2015, while with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (AA). It was the sixth save of his Tortugas career in 12 appearances
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.