Manatees Double up Threshers, 8-4 in Series Opener
CLEARWATER, Fla. - For the second time in four nights, Orlando Arcia fell just shy of hitting for the cycle, as the Brevard County Manatees pounded out 17 hits in an 8-4 win over the Clearwater Threshers at Bright House Field on Friday night.
Arcia went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and a single. He had two cracks at the triple that would have completed the cycle, but grounded out to third in the fifth and lined out to left in the ninth. Arcia was a home run away from hitting for the cycle on Tuesday against the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
The Manatees shortstop got the offense started early. After Nathan Orf led off the ballgame with a single to extend his hit streak to 11 games, Arcia hooked a double down the left field line. Orf came home to put Brevard County (6-3 second half, 42-33 overall) on top, 1-0.
Arcia advanced to third when the relay throw to home plate got away from catcher Gabriel Lino. Tyrone Taylor then chopped a single that allowed Arcia to scamper home from third and push the early lead to 2-0.
Later on in the frame, Taylor found himself on third base with one out, following a Cameron Garfield single. Victor Roache then drove in Taylor with an RBI groundout to second. The 'Tees finished the top of the first inning with three runs on four hits.
However, Clearwater (4-5, 21-56) used the long ball to knot the score in their half of the first. After Roman Quinn led off the inning with a double, J.P. Crawford hit a line drive home run over the right field wall. Two batters later, 'Tees starting pitcher Hobbs Johnson gave up another long ball to Brandon Short. The solo shot over the left field wall tied the game at 3-3.
The wild contest continued in the second. Alfredo Rodriguez began the inning with a walk and Brandon Macias grounded a single through the right side.
With runners on first and second, Orf hit a fly ball to right field that Brian Pointer caught and threw in to third base. The throw was wide of the third baseman, Harold Martinez and bounced past him. Starting pitcher Jeb Stefan then scrambled after the ball, as Rodriguez took off for third.
Stefan picked up the ball and threw to the shortstop, Crawford, who was covering third base. Crawford applied the tag to Rodriguez for the second out, as Macias moved up to second.
That play could have doomed the Manatees' hopes of taking back the lead that inning, but Arcia made sure it did not. He slammed a single to left-center to score Macias and the 'Tees reclaimed their advantage, 4-3.
Brevard still held a one-run lead heading into the fifth, but that was when the fireworks went off for the 'Tees offense. Of course, Arcia was the catalyst. He lifted a high fly ball over the left field wall for his second homer of the season.
The solo shot to leadoff the inning extended the 'Tees lead, but Taylor added to that. He followed up Arcia's long ball with a line drive that just cleared the left field wall. The back-to-back home runs made it a 6-3 Brevard County edge.
Clearwater answered with a run in the fifth, but that was all the home side could muster. The Manatees added insurance in the seventh and ninth to put the game away.
In the seventh, Taylor legged out an infield single and Michael Reed followed with a double in the right-center field gap. Taylor was off on the pitch and scored all the way from first, as the Manatees took a 7-4 lead.
Two innings later, Orf gave the 'Tees their final run of the game and reached a big career milestone in the process. The second baseman lifted his first career home run over the left field wall and the Manatees went on top, 8-4.
Every man in Brevard County's batting order recorded a hit, with the first three in the lineup - Orf, Arcia and Taylor - combining to go 8-for-15 with a double, three homers, six RBI and seven runs scored.
After a rocky first inning, Manatees starter Hobbs Johnson recovered to pick up the victory. The left-hander tossed five innings and surrendered four runs on five hits. Johnson walked three and struck out two.
With the victory, Johnson (9-6, 3.23 ERA) now sits atop the Florida State League in wins. He has also won each of his last five starts to go a perfect 5-0 in June.
The 'Tees continue their series with the Threshers on Saturday, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Austin Ross (7-1, 2.98) will get the start for the Manatees. He will go up against Mark Leiter, who is making his first start for Clearwater since being called up from Class-A Lakewood.
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Florida State League Stories from June 27, 2014
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