Tarpons Snap Losing Streak, Defeat Mets 7-3
TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Tarpons snapped a five-game losing streak after defeating the St. Lucie Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field, 7-3. The contest felt like a boxing match early on, with one squad throwing a punch and the other squad countering right back. Victory would require a complete team effort, which is exactly what the Tarpons demonstrated Friday night.
RHP Juan Carela toed the rubber for the Tarpons and continued his solid month of May with 5.2 strong innings on the mound. Carela struck out six Mets while surrendering three runs (2ER) over six hits and four walks.
The action began in the top of the first when Omar De Los Santos singled on a ground ball to third. He stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by C Antonio Gomez. Carela walked Khalil Lee, who also attempted to steal second base. This time, Gomez had the runner caught dead to rights but the throw allowed De Los Santos to come in and cross the plate.
The Mets added another run in the top of the second inning courtesy of Jack-Thomas Wold, who ripped an RBI single to the right side past the glove of 1B Anthony Garcia. Justin Guerrera would come around to score after hitting a ground rule double to center field over the head of CF Alan Mejia to put St. Lucie up 2-0.
Garcia led off the bottom of the second and drew a full count walk. 3B Ben Cowles stepped up to the plate next and knotted the game with a two-run homer to opposite field. LF Grant Richardson dropped a double in between three Mets in shallow left field and advanced to third on a throwing error by the shortstop William Lugo. Mejia hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give the Tarpons a 3-2 advantage.
Drake Osborn countered with a towering blast over the left field fence to tie the game at three apiece in the top of the fourth inning.
Fast forward to the bottom of the sixth where Mets' reliever Levi David walked the bases loaded full of Tarpons with no outs. Raimon Gomez took over on the mound and immediately surrendered a line-drive RBI-single to Garcia. The Mets would then suffer from some self-inflicted damage - as Gomez spiked a wild pitch in the dirt to let in a run and balked during Mejia's at-bat to allow another.
2B Luis Santos began the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off single off Gomez and RF Kyle Battle followed suit with a single of his own. DH Jasson Dominguez singled Santos home on an infield single to the shortstop deep in the hole to increase the lead to 7-3.
Right relievers Danny Watson (2-2) and Jack Neely were excellent in relief. Both hurlers refused to give up a hit and combined to strike out three batters over 3.1 scoreless innings down the stretch.
The Tarpons' return to action tomorrow night against the St. Lucie Mets with the first pitch scheduled for 6:30 PM EST. RHP Chandler Champlain is slated to make the start as the Tarpons look to string together a pair of wins.
Images from this story
Tampa Tarpons third baseman Ben Cowles
Tampa Tarpons first baseman Anthony Garcia
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