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'Tees' Comeback Falls Short in 4-2 Loss

April 12, 2014 - Florida State League (FSL) - Brevard County Manatees News Release

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Early offense and strong pitching proved enough for the Dunedin Blue Jays, as they defeated the Brevard County Manatees 4-2 on Saturday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Dunedin's three-run, third inning burst off 'Tees (6-3) starter Jorge Lopez (1-1, 4.91) happened in a hurry. Marcus Knecht led off with a single and then moved up to second on a wild pitch. After a walk to Matt Newman put runners on first and second, Emilio Guerrero doubled home Knecht to open the scoring.

Guerrero's double moved Newman up to third and the Jays loaded the bases with a walk by Gustavo Pierre. With Michael Reeves batting, another wild pitch skidded to the backstop and allowed Newman to score the Jays' second run. Reeves then hit a run-scoring groundout to give Dunedin (7-2) a 3-0 lead. Those three runs in third were all that Lopez would allow as he went six innings and struck out five.

On the other side, the Manatees could not solve Daniel Norris through his six innings of work. The left-hander kept the 'Tees off the scoreboard and only allowed four hits. Brevard County advanced runners into scoring position three times against Norris, but left a total of two runners stranded on third and two on second.

Norris' biggest jam was in the fourth inning. The 'Tees had runners on second and third with one out, but the southpaw struck out a pair of Brevard County hitters to end the inning. Norris finished the game with six strikeouts in the winning effort.

After Norris left the ballgame, the Manatees' bats began to come alive. In the top of the seventh, Michael Reed led off with a double and Yadiel Rivera drilled an RBI triple to put the 'Tees on the scoreboard. Rivera later scored on an RBI groundout by Garrett Cooper, who also doubled twice.

The comeback was spoiled, however, when Dunedin added an insurance run in the bottom half of the inning. Brevard County brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth after Mike Garza hit a two-out single, but Arik Sikula induced a game-ending groundout to secure his third save of the season.

The 'Tees and Jays have now split the first two games of this three-game series, with the rubber game set for Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Brevard County is scheduled to throw southpaw Hobbs Johnson (1-0, 0.00), while the Jays are expected to start Kramer Champlin.

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