Stanton, Gilliam Homer Twice Apiece in 6-2 Victory
TAMPA, Fla.- Giancarlo Stanton and Isiah Gilliam each homered twice, andRHP Shawn Semple logged six strong innings as the Tampa Tarpons clobbered the Fort Myers Miracle, 6-2, on Wednesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Four home runs tie a season-high for Tampa (28-38), matching the total hit by the Tarpons on May 20in a 9-2 win over the Florida Fire Frogs - the game in which Stanton first homered with Tampa, along with two by Dermis Garcia and one by Oswaldo Cabrera.
Gilliam opened the scoring with a line drive home run pulled over the short porch in right field, leading off the bottom of the second against RHP Jordan Balazovic.
Semple faced the minimum in the first two innings before yielding a leadoff walk to Ryan Costello in the third. Costello was pushed to second on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Whitefield and later scored on a two-out single by Mark Contreras, tying the game at 1-1.
Stanton had struck out on three-straight fastballs (all at 97mph) by Balazovic in the first, but the rehabber paid him back in the third, smashing a leadoff home run off the batter's eye to put the Tarpons back in front, 2-1.
Balazovic retired the next six batters he faced before Angel Aguilar blasted a ground-rule double to left-center. One out later, Stanton did it again, crushing an opposite-field homer over the wall in right - his second of the game and fourth in three games with Tampa.
Fort Myers (39-27) got a run back in the sixth when Ryan Jeffers lined a two-out single, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Jose Miranda, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Semple (W, 1-1) left after yielding a leadoff single in the seventh, holding the Miracle to two earned runs on six hits in six innings. The 23-year-old walked one, struck out five and threw 55 of 77 pitches for strikes in his second quality start of the season.
Balazovic (L, 4-1) allowed a career-high three home runs while yielding four earned runs on six hits in five innings, walking two while striking out seven on 86 pitches (58 strikes).
RHP Braden Bristo (H, 2) relieved Semple in the seventh and allowed a base hit by Costello before retiring the next three batters, including a pair of strikeouts. After getting two quick outs in the eighth, Bristo walked Miranda to bring the tying run to the plate.
RHP Matt Wivinis (SV, 3) took over and struck out Trey Cabbage, preserving the two-run lead.
Cabrera knocked a leadoff single off RHP Tanner Howell in the bottom of the eighth, and Gilliam provided insurance by mashing an opposite-field, two-run home run to left-center - his second home run of the game and eighth of the season.
Wivinis (SV, 3) allowed a two-out double by Whitefield in the ninth, and an error allowed Michael Helman to reach before Contreras struck out looking to end the game.
Cabrera (2-for-3, BB, 2SB) logged his third-straight multi-hit game and his batting .406 (13-for-32) over his last nine games. Aguilar (2-for-3, 2B, R) also had a multi-hit game. Gilliam (2-for-4, 2HR, 3RBI, 2R) posted his second-career multi-HR game and his first since August 14, 2016 with Rookie-level Pulaski (2-for-2, 2HR, 2BB, 2RBI, 2R).
RHP Miguel Yajure (3-6, 2.64) is scheduled to face RHP Jhoan Duran (1-5, 3.28) when the series concludes on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. Live play-by-play will be available on the Fort Myers Miracle Baseball Network. The game also marks the end of the first-half, with the Florida State League All-Star Break beginning on Friday.
On "Taco Thursday," fans can enjoy an all-you-can-eat Taco and Nacho bar for $10, House Margaritas for $6 and Coronas for $4 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Images from this story
Tampa Tarpons pitcher Shawn Semple
Giancarlo Stanton batting for the Tampa Tarpons
Giancarlo Stanton receives congratulations in the Tampa Tarpons dugout
Oswaldo Cabrera and Isiah Gilliam of the Tampa Tarpons
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Florida State League Stories from June 12, 2019
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