Manatees Blast Daytona, 9-3
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Starting pitcher Tyler Wagner struck out a season-high nine hitters, while his offense tallied 14 hits in the Brevard County Manatees' 9-3 victory over the Daytona Cubs at Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Friday night.
Wagner (6-4, 1.96 ERA), who threw seven innings of shutout basesball against the Yankees in his last outing on June 9, blanked the Cubs over five frames. The Florida State League All-Star allowed just two hits and walked two en route to earning the win.
The Manatees (1-1 second half, 37-31 overall) grabbed Wagner the lead before he even toed the rubber. Nathan Orf led off the game by depositing an 0-2 pitch off the left field wall for a double. Two batters later, Orf came across to score the game's opening run after a pair of ground outs by Orlando Arcia and Tyrone Taylor.
It took until the sixth inning for Brevard County to break the game open. Thanks to a double by Taylor and a single plus a stolen base by Cameron Garfield, the Manatees had runners at second and third with one out for Nicky Delmonico.
On a 2-2, Delmonico hit a broken bat, jam shot towards the third baseman. Jordan Hankins - who was making his FSL debut - could not field it cleanly and the ball trickled behind him, as Taylor crossed the plate.
However, neither Hankins nor shortstop Marco Hernandez could decide who would pick up the unattended ball. As a result of the confusion, Garfield motored home from second base and Delmonico advanced to second to put Brevard up 4-0.
After Delmonico was tagged out trying to advance to third on a dirt ball, Victor Roache demolished a pitch from Daytona reliever Jose Rosario over the left field fence for a solo homer - his team-leading eighth of the season - to put the Manatees up by five.
Daytona (1-1, 28-42) rallied to score a run in the bottom of the sixth, on a RBI double by Dan Vogelbach. However, the 'Tees got two runs back in the top of the seventh. After a walk to Arcia and a Taylor double, Garfield poked a one-out, two-run single to left to extend the Manatees lead to 7-1.
However, the Cubs' bats did not go down without a fight. Manatees releiver Martin Viramontes struggled to find the strike zone as he surrendered a single to Gioskar Amaya and issued a walk to Marco Hernandez, to start the bottom half of the inning.
After a one-out walk to Wes Darvill, Greg Holle was called upon to try and get out of the jam. The tall righty forced Albert Almore to hit a run-scoring ground out back to the mound before facing Vogelback. Daytona's first baseban, who drove in two runs on a homer and a double the night prior, smacked a RBI double to pull the Cubs within four runs at 7-3.
Holle then went on to retire seven of the last nine batters he faced, to finish off Brevard's first win of the second half. He threw 2.2 scoreless innings of relief and allowed three hits, along with three strikeouts.
Roache's sixth inning blast was not the only long ball Brevard hit on the night. Yadiel Rivera smoked his third homer of the season, off of Cubs starter Nathan Dorris. Delmonico left no doubt as to the final outcome of the game as he crushed a two-run bomb off of Zack Godley.
Brevard County's pitching staff struck out a season-high 15 and also received plenty of help from the defense. With the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning, Almora lofted a soft fly ball to shallow center field but Taylor made a tremendous sliding grab to take away multiple runs and end the inning.
Not to be outdone, Arcia made an unreal, highlight play to end the sixth. With runners on second and third with two outs, Hankins flipped a high pop-up down the third-base line in foul territory. Delmonico raced towards the fence, but seemed to lose the ball in the lights. Out of nowhere, Arcia came storming in and made an incredible, feet-first, sliding grab in the Daytona bullpen to end the threat.
Brevard's bats as a whole had a fantastic night as the 'Tees compiled 14 hits, with eight of them going for extra bases. All but one player in the lineup picked up at least one hit. The lone player who did not, Arcia, still managed to reach base twice on walks. Five players - Orf, Taylor, Garfield, Rivera and Mike Garza - all tallied multi-hit games in the victory.
The Manatees will stay on the road and open up a three-game series at 6:30 p.m. with North Division first half champions, the Dunedin Blue Jays. Jorge Lopez (7-2, 2.69) will get the ball for Brevard County, while Dunedin will counter with Kendall Graveman (5-3, 3.24).
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