Tarpons Slug Four Homers in Doubleheader Split vs. Blue Jays
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons tallied a season-high seven extra-base hits in a 6-1 victory in the series-opener before the Dunedin Blue Jays split the doubleheader with a walk-off, 5-3 win on Saturday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Dunedin (31-26, 72-50) is playing the series as the "home" team due to renovations at Dunedin Stadium.
Game one originally began on Friday afternoon, when Tampa (28-27, 56-65) scored four runs in the third off RHP Josh Winckowski (L, 3-5). Steven Sensley drilled a leadoff homer to right field and, one out later, Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera hit back-to-back doubles. Later, Diego Castillo clubbed a two-out, two-run homer to left.
RHP Frank German stranded a leadoff double in the first by retiring the next nine batters. After yielding a leadoff walk in the fourth, Germán retired the next two batters before getting a 2-1 count on Kacy Clemens. Before his next pitch, heavy rainfall began, and the game was suspended until Saturday.
German tallied seven strikeouts while scattering one hit and one walk in three and two-third innings, throwing 58 pitches (35 strikes) in his first game back off the 7-Day Injured List.
RHP Glenn Otto relieved Germán and struck out Clemens when play resumed on Saturday. Otto added two more punchouts in a 1-2-3 fifth, and three more while stranding a walk and a single in the sixth.
Florial added to the lead in the seventh with a solo homer to right off RHP Maverik Buffo. In the eighth, Castillo walked and took third on a two-out single by Mickey Gasper before scoring on a double off the left field wall by Donny Sands, giving the Tarpons a 6-0 lead.
After walking Christopher Bec with one out in the seventh, Otto picked Bec off of first before ending the inning with a seventh strikeout. A pair of walks in the eighth led to a two-out RBI single by Ryan Noda, putting Dunedin on the board.
RHP Matt Wivinis relieved Otto and struck out Demi Orimoloye to end the eighth before stranding a two-out walk in the ninth, adding a second strikeout.
Otto (W, 2-2) struck out seven while yielding one earned run on two hits and four walks in four innings, throwing 39 of 66 pitches for strikes. Germán (7Ks), Otto (7Ks) and Wivinis (2Ks) combined for 16 strikeouts - a single-game season-high by Tampa pitchers.
In Game Two, the Tarpons grabbed an early lead off RHP Graham Spraker in the first. Pablo Olivares reached on a hit-by-pitch and took third on a base hit to right by Florial before Cabrera crushed a three-run homer to right-center.
RHP Alexander VizcaÃ-no stranded a pair of two-out base runners in the first before Dunedin scored in the second. Kevin Vicuña drew a leadoff walk, took second on a single by Norberto Obeso and scored on a base hit by Samad Taylor, cutting the lead to 3-1. VizcaÃ-no induced a double-play before getting a flyout to limit the damage in the second.
In the third, Chavez Young lined a leadoff single, took second on a wild pitch and scored after drawing a wild throw by first-baseman Kyle Gray following a groundout by Alejandro Kirk. Later, Noda smashed a two-out solo shot to right, knotting the game at 3-3.
Jason Lopez and Leonardo Molina both walked to begin the second, and Florial singled to lead off the third, but Spraker got double-plays in each inning to keep the game timed.
After stranding a base hit by Wilkerman Garcia in the fourth, singles by Gray and Cabrera put runners on the corners with two outs for Tampa in the fifth. RHP Jackson Rees replaced Spraker and got Alexander Palma to ground out to end the frame.
VizcaÃ-no stranded a go-ahead runner at third in the fourth before getting a double-play to help face the minimum in the fifth to complete his outing, snapping a streak of four-straight quality starts. The 22-year-old allowed three earned runs on six hits in five innings, walking two while striking out two on 80 pitches (54 strikes).
Castillo and Garcia both walked and advanced to second and third on a groundout by Lopez to begin the eighth. Castillo tried to score a ground ball hit by Molina but was thrown out at the plate by Vicuña at shortstop. Rees (W, 3-1) struck out Gray to end the sixth, and added one more punchout while retiring the side in order in the seventh.
LHP Anderson Severino relieved VizcaÃ-no in the sixth and got a pair of strikeouts while stranding a leadoff walk. Severino (L, 2-2) got two quick outs in the seventh before Young reached on a broken-bat liner to center. Kirk followed by crushing a 2-1 fastball over the left field wall for a game-winning two-run home run.
Florial (4-for-9, HR, 2B, RBI, 3R) logged a pair of multi-hit games. Cabrera (3-for-8, HR, 2B, BB, 4RBI, 2R) and Garcia (2-for-6, 2B, BB) also hit safely in both ends of the doubleheader. Sands (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) extended his hitting streak to nine games. Castillo (2-for-5, HR, 2BB, RBI, 2R) extended his on-base streak to 15 games, and Lopez (0-for-2, BB) to 12 games.
The series concludes with a doubleheader on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. RHP Janson Junk (4-6, 5.19) is slated to start against an unannounced Dunedin starter in Game 1, with RHP Daniel Bies (0-0, 6.75) getting the nod against RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-2, 3.05) in Game 2.Live play-by-play of the action will be available on the Tampa Tarpons Baseball Network.
As part of Family Funday Sunday, fans can take advantage of $40 Family 4-Packs, which include four tickets, four hats and four $5 concession vouchers (Family 4-Packs are only available at the George M. Steinbrenner Field Box Office. In addition, Kids 14-and-under can the run the bases after the game.
Images from this story
Estevan Florial of the Tampa Tarpons
Estevan Florial of the Tampa Tarpons rounds the bases
Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera celebrate for the Tampa Tarpons
Tampa Tarpons pitcher Glenn Otto
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