Stephenson's Career Night Helps Tugas Snap Slide
BRADENTON, FL - Tyler Stephenson clubbed a pair of homers as Daytona scored nine unanswered runs for a 9-6 come-from-behind victory over the Bradenton Maurauders Thursday night at LECOM Park. It was the first multi-homer game for Stephenson in his career, as the win helped Daytona avoid a fifth straight loss.
Bradenton got the scoring started with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on first and second, Brett Pope hit a line drive right back to the mound. RHP Tommy Bergjans knocked it down and threw the ball wildly to first, allowing Albert Baur to score from second for the game's first run.
The Marauders would then score three in the fourth to build a 4-0 lead. Pope came up with one-out and the bases loaded and hit a two run single to put his team up 3-0. Jason Delay went first-to-third on the base hit and came in to score on a Garrett Brown ground out to first.
The Tortugas cracked the run column for the first time in the top of the sixth. With two away, Bruce Yari extended the frame with a single to center on the first pitch he saw from RHP Gavin Wallace. Then, two pitches later, Stephenson hit a two-run homer, his ninth of the year, to cut the deficit in half.
Ibandel Isabel cut the 4-2 deficit in half in the top of the seventh when he hit a solo home run to center off Wallace, his league-leading 20th of the year, to make it a 4-3 game.
Daytona would tie the game in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, Brantley Bell drove a ball deep to center field to score Michael Beltre with a sacrifice fly, evening the score at four.
The Tortugas then sent nine men to the plate in the ninth, scoring five times to take their first lead and put the game away. After RHP Blake Cederlind retired the first two Tortugas quickly, a single and back-to-back walks loaded up the bags. Cederlind then walked Yari on five pitches to force in the go-ahead run.
That signaled the end of the night for Cederlind, who was replaced by RHP Adam Oller to face Stephenson. Oller sailed the second pitch he threw to the back-stop, allowing Taylor Trammell to score from third, making it a 6-4 game. On the very next pitch, Stephenson hit a three-run blast to left field, his second of the game, to make it a 9-4 game.
Bradenton made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth against RHP Joel Kuhnel. First, Pope lined an RBI single to score Casey Hughston and make it a 9-5 game. Pope then scored two batters later on an RBI single from Jared Oliva to make it 9-6. But, with the tying run in the on-deck circle, Kuhnel got Adrian Valerio to pop out to right field to end the game.
LHP Ty Boyles (3-6) earned the win in relief, his first since his last appearance in Bradenton on May 15th. He retired all five batters he faced while stranding an inherited runner. Cederlind (0-1) suffered his first blown save and loss with Bradenton. He allowed five runs on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out two.
Daytona will look build off this victory and make it two in a row tomorrow night when they send RHP Tejay Antone (1-2, 5.21) to the mound. Antone struck out a career-high 10 when he faced the Marauders on Saturday 7/14. Bradenton will send Mike Wallace (4-6, 4.63) to the hill, he held Daytona to just one run in 6 2/3 innings on Sunday 7/15.
First pitch Friday is scheduled for 6:30 PM, with coverage beginning at 6:20 PM with The Metcare Pregame Show on AM 1230, AM 1490, and FM 106.9 WSBB.
NOTES: The Tortugas improved to 7-32 when trailing after 6 innings, 5-27 when trailing after 7, and 31-0 when leading after 8... Daytona scored 9 runs tonight after scoring just 6 during their four-game losing streak... The Tortugas recorded 3 stolen bases for the fifth time this season... The Tortuga bullpen had allowed just 2 runs in their last 24 innings (0.75 ERA) before RHP Joel Kuhnel surrendered a pair in the ninth... Kuhnel has a 2.30 ERA in 13 save opportunities (4 earned runs in 15 2/3 innings) opposed to a 3.63 ERA in 18 non-save chances (9 earned runs in 22 1/3 innings)... In 13 relief appearances, Boyles has allowed just 2 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings (0.84 ERA) and is holding opposing hitters to a .153 average... Tyler Stephenson became the third different Tortuga to have multiple home runs in the same game, joining Mitch Nay and Ibandel Isabel (3x). Stephenson also became the sixth Tortuga to record 4 hits in a game, joining Nay, Isabel (2x), Brantley Bell, Michael Beltre, and Bruce Yari... Ibandel Isabel homered for the first time since 7/6 and recorded his 13th multi-hit effort... Randy Ventura recorded his 9th multi-hit game in 27 games with the Tortugas.
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