Taylor's Four-Hit Night Paces Brevard Past Dunedin
VIERA, Fla. - After a few quiet nights at the plate, Tyrone Taylor exploded with the bat to lead the Brevard County Manatees to a 10-5 victory over the Dunedin Blue Jays at Space Coast Stadium on Tuesday night.
Taylor put back-to-back hitless nights to the side by piecing together a 4-for-5 game at the plate. Milwaukee's number two prospect according to Baseball America, doubled, singled three times and drove in four runs.
The Manatees' (35-30) offense gave starter Hobbs Johnson (7-6, 2.57 ERA) plenty of support by scoring six runs in the second inning.
After three straight singles to start the frame by Michael Reed, Cameron Garfield and Victor Roache, first baseman Mike Garza stepped to the plate. The 'Tees hottest hitter roped a high fly ball to left-center field for a two-run double to put Brevard in front, 2-0.
Consecutive walks to Yadiel Rivera and Nathan Orf brought home another run to push the lead to three. That brought an end to the night for Dunedin starter Ben White (3-4, 4.98) as left-handed reliever Chad Girodo came out of the bullpen to try and stop the damage.
The first batter he faced was Orlando Arcia, who deflected a ball off the new pitcher. Girodo recovered and threw out Arcia, but Garza raced home to make it a 4-0 game. Taylor then blew the game wide open as he smacked a two-run single into left-center to make it a 6-0 advantage.
After Dunedin (46-22) added runs in the third and fourth on an RBI single by L.B. Dantzler and a solo home run by Gustavo Pierre, respectively, the Manatees padded their lead yet again.
Orf and Arcia led off the fourth inning with singles which set the stage for Taylor yet again. After a double steal put runners at second and third, Taylor lined a base hit into left field to drive in Orf and make it 7-2, Brevard County.
One batter later, Reed hit a slow chopper towards third base. Pierre charged and made an accurate throw on to first base, but Reed's speed was too much as he beat it out for an infield single. That allowed Arcia to cross the plate and extend the Manatee lead back up to six.
The 'Tees added two more runs off the Dunedin bullpen in the fifth. With two outs, Rivera singled to right and Orf walked to spark yet another rally. Arcia and Taylor then followed with RBI singles to right and center field respectively, to put Brevard comfortably ahead, 10-2.
The Blue Jays made the Manatees sweat out the final few outs by pushing three runs across off Michael Strong with two outs in the eighth inning. After a walk to Dantzler, Santiago Nessy ripped an RBI double to left-center to cut the Brevard lead to 10-3. After another walk to Baligod, Emilio Guerrero drove in both base runners with a double to trim the lead to 10-5.
That was as close as Dunedin would get. After Guerrero's base-hit, Mark Williams was called upon to finish the Blue Jays. The right-hander retired all four batters he faced to close out the Manatees win.
Johnson put together another strong performance as he picked up the victory. He allowed two runs - one earned - on five hits over five innings of work. Johnson struck out four and walked just one en route to his seventh win of the year, which puts him in a four-way tie for the league-lead.
It was not just Taylor who had a phenomenal night at the plate. The Manatees racked up 15 hits against Dunedin pitching and three other players recorded multi-hit nights. Arcia, Reed and Garza all tallied two base knocks and combined for five RBI.
The Manatees will look for the sweep on Wednesday night as the wrap up their three-game series against the Blue Jays at 6:35 p.m. at Space Coast Stadium. A pair of five-game winners will face off, as Austin Ross (5-1, 2.79) gets the call for Brevard against Dunedin's Florida State League All-Star Taylor Cole (5-2, 2.19).
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