Cabrera's Two Blasts Lead Tarpons Past Flying Tigers, 6-5
TAMPA, Fla. - Oswaldo Cabrera homered twice for his first-career multi-HR game as the Tampa Tarpons bounced back with a 6-5 victory over the Lakeland Flying Tigers in front of a crowd of 2,365 on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Cabrera gave Tampa (33-30, 61-68) an early lead with a towering solo homer to right with two outs in the first off RHP Tom de Blok.
RHP Daniel Bies made his second-straight start and tallied three strikeouts while stranding a runner in the first and second innings before Lakeland (34-30, 63-66) scored three in the third.
Reece Hampton hooked a leadoff double down the right field line, and Brock Deatherage followed with a sacrifice bunt. Hampton scored, and Deatherage reached third as the ball was thrown away by first-baseman Mickey Gasper. Deatherage then beat a throw to the plate as A.J. Simcox reached on a fielder's choice with a ground ball to shortstop Diego Castillo.
A walk and an error loaded the bases before Simcox scored on a single by Urlich Bojarski. Bies limited the damage by getting a pop-out by Jordan Pearce and an inning-ending 6-3 double-play off the bat of Christopher Proctor.
Jason Lopez reached on a throwing error by third-baseman Brady Policelli, and Kyle Gray looped a single into shallow left to begin the home-half of the third. A wild pitch advanced the runners before Lopez scored on a groundout by Pablo Olivares. Gray took third on an infield single by Estevan Florial before tying the game on a sacrifice fly by Cabrera.
Bies picked Deatherage off of first to face the minimum in the fourth before yielding a leadoff single by Simcox in the fifth. One out later, Simcox took third on a base hit by Nick Ames, and Bojarksi followed with a go-ahead sacrifice fly, putting the Flying Tigers back in front, 4-3.
de Blok retired six-straight Tarpons before walking Florial with two outs in the bottom of the fifth. de Blok fell behind Cabrera, 3-0, before running the count full. Cabrera then crushed a 3-2 fastball over the wall in right-center for a go-ahead two-run homer, giving Tampa a 5-4 lead.
In the sixth, Gasper pulled a one-out single into right off de Blok, took second on a wild pitch and third on a groundout before scoring on a high return throw to the mound by Proctor.
de Blok (L, 2-12) allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits, walking two while striking out two in five and two-third innings, throwing 57 of 90 pitches for strikes.
Bies (W, 1-1) returned for the sixth and got two quick outs before exiting with a season-high 103 pitches (69 strikes). The 23-year-old allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits, one walk and one hit-batter in five and two-third innings, tallying five strikeouts.
RHP Wilser Barrios (H, 1) made his Tarpons debut in relief of Bies and retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, stranding a two-out walk by Policelli in the seventh.
In the ninth, John Valente lined a leadoff single before getting forced out as Hampton reached on a fielder's choice. Hampton took second on a groundout by Deatherage and scored on a base hit to left by Simcox. RHP Jefry Valdez (SV, 1) entered for Barrios and got a pop-out to shortstop by Policelli to end the game.
Cabrera (2-for-3, 2HR, Sac-F, 4RBI, 2R) tied a career-high with 4 RBI while logging his fourth-straight multi-hit game. Over his last 11 games, the 20-year-old is batting .439 (18-for-41) with 9R and 10RBI.
The series wraps up with a doubleheader on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. LHP Jordan Montgomery is expected to join the Tarpons to start Game One as part of a rehab assignment, with RHP Jake Thompson (4-0, 1.83) getting the nod for the Flying Tigers.
The pitching matchup for Game Two is still to be determined.Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
As part of Family Funday Sunday, fans can take advantage of $40 Family 4-Packs, which include four tickets, four hats and four $5 concession vouchers (Family 4-Packs are only available at the George M. Steinbrenner Field Box Office. In addition, Kids 14-and-under can the run the bases after the game.
Images from this story
Tampa Tarpons pitcher Daniel Bies
Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera celebrate for the Tampa Tarpons
Oswaldo Cabrera of the Tampa Tarpons
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