Torres Propels Tortugas to Triumph over Cardinals
JUPITER, Fla. - After a gut-wrenching defeat on Tuesday night, the Tortugas removed all doubt in game two of the series on Wednesday. DH José Torres picked up two extra-base hits and drove in a career-high four runs, as Daytona devoured the Palm Beach Cardinals, 7-2, at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
Scoreless into the sixth, LF Gus Steiger (0-3, R, BB) started a rally with a leadoff walk and C Daniel Vellojín (1-4, R, 2B, BB, 2 SO) followed with a double right. With second and third and nobody out, 2B Brandon Leyton (2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) smashed a line drive off the edge of the third baseman's mitt and into left field for a single to put Daytona (58-58) in front, 1-0.
Two pitches later, Torres (2-5, 2 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, SO) lofted a towering drive over the centerfielder's head and onto the warning track. Vellojín scored easily from third, but Leyton got a tremendous jump from first to come all the way around to score. Torres ended up sliding in feet first at third with a two-run triple to push the 'Tugas lead to 3-0.
After a fielder's choice and an error allowed 3B Rece Hinds (2-4, R, 2 2B) to reach and Torres to stay at third, SS Elly De La Cruz (1-2, 2 RBI, BB) poked a sacrifice fly to center, giving Daytona a four-run cushion.
An inning later, the offense stayed on the attack. With two down, Leyton reached on an infield single to keep the frame alive for Torres. The 2021 third-round pick walloped a 2-2 delivery beyond the fence in left for a two-run home run. Torres' third long ball with Daytona made it a 6-0 affair.
After a first-pitch strike, Hinds kept the onslaught going with a ringing double down the line in left. De La Cruz promptly followed with a run-scoring single to center, granting the Tortugas a touchdown advantage, 7-0.
Daytona kept the shutout brewing until the ninth. Palm Beach (35-78) loaded the bases on three walks before 1B Brady Whalen (2-4, RBI, 2 SO) slapped an RBI single to left. C Aaron McKeithan (0-2, RBI, BB) followed with a sacrifice fly to center, but RHP Wes Robertson (1.0 IP) forced the next batter to ground into a game-ending double play.
Reds' 2021 second-round pick LHP Andrew Abbott (3.0 IP, 3 BB, 5 SO) was outstanding, tossing 3.0 shutout innings in a no-decision for Daytona. RHP Tyler Garbee (4.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 SO) hurled a season-high 4.0 frames of shutout relief to earn his first victory with the Tortugas.
LHP John Beller (5.0+ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO) had thrown 5.0 shutout innings before failing to escape the sixth. The University of Southern California alum yielded four runs (three earned) in that frame, suffering his seventh loss of the year.
Daytona attempts to make it two-in-a-row on Thursday with RHP Sam Benschoter (0-0, 9.00) expected to make his second start with the club. Palm Beach is scheduled to counter with LHP Levi Prater (1-8, 6.65). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:15 p.m. leading up to the 6:30 p.m. first pitch from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.
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