DAYTONA BEACH, FL - After scoring just 32 runs over their last 16 games, the Tortugas bats came alive to lead Daytona to a 9-8 triumph over the Clearwater Threshers on Thirsty Thursday at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in front of 1,975 fans.
While Deivi Grullon's solo blast in the second put Daytona in an early 1-0 hole, a resilient club battled back from each setback all night long. The Tortugas got hits from the first three men in their half of the second, with the final of the three hits being an RBI double from Chris Okey to tie the game at one. Mitch Piatnik chopped a ball under the glove of Threshers second baseman Grenny Cumana to plate the two men in scoring position and push Daytona into the lead, 3-1, on the miscue.
Down 4-3 in the third, following a three-run blast from Carlos Duran, Alfredo Rodriguez and Luis Gonzalez singled to lead things off in the bottom of the inning. An RBI groundout by James Vasquez and a sacrifice fly from Reydel Medina brought in both those runners to catapult the Tortugas back into the lead, 5-4.
The home-run power that the Tortugas had been lacking soon became an afterthought. With the game tied at 5 due to a Grullon RBI double in the top half, Gonzalez nailed his first long ball as a Tortuga to the right of the scoreboard in left-center in the home half of the fifth. A two-run shot to the right field corner from T.J. Friedl in the sixth was followed up by a Piatnik inside-the-park homer which provided Daytona with a 9-5 advantage.
The Tortuga bullpen bent but didn't break after RHP Mark Armstrong had to leave the game in the second inning due to injury. LHP Juan Martinez picked up the victory by tossing the middle three innings and allowing one run, while scattering four hits. RHP Sandy Lugo surrendered five hits and three runs over parts of the seventh and eighth innings. RHP Ryan Hendrix got the final four outs to earn his first Advanced-A save.
The Tortugas continue the homestand as they open up a four-game set with the Lakeland Flying Tigers on First Responders Night at the Jack on Friday evening. RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (5-6, 4.68) gets the ball for Daytona. The Metcare Pregame Show begins at 6:50 PM on AM 1230 and AM 1490 WSBB with the first pitch following shortly afterward at 7:05 p.m.
Notes: Daytona went deep for the first time in 16 games (since June 19th)…The Tortugas scored more than four runs for the first time in their last 14 contests…Daytona has won its last two one-run games after losing five straight…Mitch Piatnik had his first home-run since August 21st of last season with the Dayton Dragons, while TJ Friedl and Luis Gonzalez hit their first home runs as Tortugas.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.