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Blue Jays Fall 3-2 at Home, Eliminated from 1st Half

June 21, 2017 - Florida State League (FSL) - Dunedin Blue Jays News Release

The Dunedin Blue Jays entered Monday night game with slim odds of competing for the Florida State League North Division's title, sitting 2.5 games out of first place with just three games to go in the season's first half. Their 3-2 loss to the Lakeland Tigers (29-35) Monday night eliminated them from contention, putting their record back below .500 at 33-34.

RHP Conor Fisk started for the Blue Jays and provided them with five strong innings following a rocky start. Fisk allowed a leadoff single in the first inning to Dustin Frailey and then a two-run home run to the second batter of the game Will Maddox . However, after the early hiccup, Fisk settled in and did not allow Lakeland to score again. He finished his outing having allowed seven hits, one walk, and with five strikeouts in 5.0 innings.

The Blue Jays answered the Flying Tiger's early run with one of their own in the bottom of the first inning. Jon Berti, rehabbing from AAA-Buffalo, reached on a scoring error to begin the inning. Cavan Biggio then singled to put runners on first and second. With Lourdes Gurriel batting, Berti stole third then scored on a line drive sacrifice fly to right field off Gurriel's bat. For Gurriel, it was his first at-bat since he left Dunedin's game on April 19th win an injury and his second RBI on the season.

The Flying Tigers scored an insurance run in the sixth inning that proved to be the difference in the game. With one out in the inning, Arvicent Perez laid down a bunt single off Dunedin reliever Ryan Cook . Perez stole second and scored on a two-out single by Dustin Frailey.

The Blue Jays attempted a comeback in the seventh. Lane Thomas walked to begin the inning and D.J. Davis followed with a single. With two runners on and no out, Jon Berti hit a line drive one-hopper down the line at first that Lakeland first baseman Wade Hinkle stabbed and turned into a terrific 3-6-3 double play. Thomas, who advanced to third on the double play, scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat. The Blue Jays were unable to put together any further threat, going down in order in the eighth and the ninth with five of their last six batters being retired on strikes.

The Blue Jays bullpen combined to throw 4.0 innings in relief of Fisk and allowed just the one sixth inning run. Following Cook, RHP Philip Walby, RHP Josh DeGraaf, and RHP Zach Jackson each threw a scoreless inning. The quartet of relievers struck out five opposing hitters.

The Blue Jays have two games remaining in the season's first half before turning their sights towards chasing a second-half title. They will be in action again tomorrow morning against Lakeland at 11:00 AM with LHP Angel Perdomo on the mound.

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