Castillo, Garcia Lead Tarpons to 8-4 Victory
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Diego Castillo and Dermis Garcia both homered while pacing the offense with three hits apiece as the Tampa Tarpons defeated the Clearwater Beach Dogs, 8-4, to even the series on Friday night at Spectrum Field.
With a strong breeze blowing out to right, Matt Pita jumpstarted the Tarpons in the first by blasting the first pitch of the game off the base of the centerfield wall for a leadoff triple.
Pita then beat a throw to the plate by shortstop Nick Maton as Castillo reached on a fielder's choice. Oswaldo Cabrera pushed Castillo to second with a sacrifice bunt, and Garcia smashed a two-run homer over the wall in right-center, giving Tampa (6-10) a 3-0 lead.
Castillo, Cabrera and Garcia all singled to open the third, loading the bases. One out later, Steven Sensley grounded a ball to first. Castillo scored as first-baseman Madison Stokes threw Garcia out at second. Cabrera then scored as Maton's return throw went wide of first.
A pair of double-plays in the first and third innings helped RHP Miguel Yajure hold the Beach Dogs scoreless until Jhailyn Ortiz clubbed a solo homer with two outs in the fourth.
Tampa got the run back when Castillo crushed a leadoff homer in the fifth. One out later, Garcia and Isiah Gilliam lined back-to-back doubles, giving the Tarpons a 7-1 lead.
LHP Kyle Young (L, 0-3) started for Clearwater (5-11) and allowed seven runs (six earned) on a career-high nine hits in five innings. The 21-year-old tallied six strikeouts, no walks and threw 56 of 78 pitches for strikes.
Following the homer by Ortiz, Yajure retired six-straight batters, until Matt Vierling lined a two-out double in the sixth. Stokes followed with an RBI single and, after a walk by Ortiz, Jake Scheiner drove a two-run triple off the centerfield wall, cutting the lead to 7-4.
Yajure (W, 1-2) got a groundout to complete the frame, logging six innings for a second-straight start. The 20-year-old allowed four earned runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out three on 92 pitches (53 strikes).
Castillo doubled to lead off the seventh but was stranded by RHP Grant Dyer. RHP Austin Ross followed by retiring the first five batters he faced before walking Castillo and Cabrera in the ninth. A trio of wild pitches by Ross allowed Castillo to score an insurance run for Tampa.
RHP Greg Weissert (SV, 2) sat down six-straight Beach Dogs in the seventh and eighth before Ortiz singled to begin the bottom of the ninth. After walking Scheiner, Weissert got a strikeout and a double-play to end the game.
Castillo (3-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2RBI, 4R) has hit safely in six-straight games, batting .381 (8-for-21) in that span. Garcia (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2RBI, 2R) lead the Florida State League with 17 RBI and is tied for the league-lead with four home runs and 33 total bases.
RHP Rony Garcia (0-0, 2.03) will make the start for Tampa in the rubber game against RHP Andrew Brown (0-2, 12.86) on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.Live play-by-play audio will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
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