Brown Delivers Strong Outing in Threshers' Series-Opening Win over Lakeland
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Backed by another quality outing from Andrew Brown, the Clearwater Threshers took down the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 5-1, at Spectrum Field on Monday night. The win puts the Philadelphia Phillies affiliate a half game back of the Wild Card spot in the Florida State League North division with six games to play.
Edubray Ramos set the tone for the Threshers (65-68, 29-38) in a rehab start with a scoreless first inning and paved the way for Brown (5-7). The right-hander built off Ramos' outing by stranding two runners in the second and retiring Lakeland (65-67, 36-31) in order in the third. Clearwater's offense backed its relief pitcher in a big way in the bottom of the frame.
Dalton Guthrie was hit by a Garrett Hill (6-6) pitch to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a single from Simon Muzziotti. Raul Rivas dropped a bunt down against Hill and reached first on an error by the pitcher to load the bases with nobody out. Jhailyn Ortiz followed with a double down the left-field line to plate Guthrie and Muzziotti and put Clearwater ahead 2-0.
After Hill recorded the first out, Matt Vierling followed with a single to right for the third run of the frame when Rivas scored. The final run of the frame scored on Rafael Marchan's sacrifice fly to left that scored Ortiz for a 4-0 edge.
With the lead, Brown only faced one inning of trouble coming in the fourth. Brady Policelli singled to start the frame before Brown struck out Bryant Packard. Ulrich Bojarski grounded to short to force out Policelli, but reached first to keep the frame alive. John Valente put down a bunt single to put runners on first and second for Nick Ames. The first baseman singled to left to score Bojarski and cut Lakeland's deficit to 4-1.
The right-hander shook off the fourth inning and retired the next 10 Lakeland batters, eight of which grounded out. The 21-year-old retired 12 batters with groundouts on the night and only one on a flyout. Brown has surrendered just two runs over 12 innings of work over his last two appearances. The outing has also given the pitcher a win in back-to-back outings for the first time in 2019.
Clearwater added extra insurance for the pitching staff in the fifth. With one away, Luke Miller was hit by a pitch and reached second on a single from Marchan. With two away, Madison Stokes lifted a fly ball double to shallow right that Ames could not catch and scored Miller for the fifth run of the game.
With a four-run advantage, Zach Warren entered to finish off the final two frames in relief. The left-hander struck out two and walked one in a scoreless outing. The 23-year-old has struck out 79 hitters, a team-high for relievers this season.
Clearwater improved to 7-5 against the Detroit Tigers affiliate in 2019, and 4-1 against the club at Spectrum Field. The pitching staff improved their ERA to 2.90 against the Flying Tigers with 121 strikeouts and a .217 average against.
The Threshers continue their series with the Flying Tigers in game two of the four-game set at Spectrum Field on Tuesday night. RHP Alejandro Requena (8-10 4.96) gets the ball for Clearwater against Lakeland RHP Paul Richan (2-1 3.65). First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. with coverage beginning at 6:45 p.m. on Threshers Live! The Pregame Show at threshersbaseball.com.
Tuesday night's contest is the final Dollar Tuesday of the 2019 season. Berm tickets are just $1 and available walk-up at Spectrum Field. Plus, enjoy $1 hot dogs, 16oz fountain sodas, chips, peanuts and more.
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