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Lee lifts Threshers over Tortugas, 4-2

Daytona puts tying runs on in ninth, but cannot complete comeback
SS Gus Steiger reached base twice and scored both of Daytona's runs, but the Clearwater Threshers bested the Tortugas, 4-2, on Thursday night at BayCare Ballpark. (Aldrin Capulong)
May 12, 2022

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Trailing the whole game, Daytona rallied to put the tying and go-ahead runs aboard in the ninth inning. However, the comeback effort fell short, as Clearwater SS Hao Yu Lee's two-RBI night was too much to overcome, in the Threshers' 4-2 win over the Tortugas on Thursday

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Trailing the whole game, Daytona rallied to put the tying and go-ahead runs aboard in the ninth inning. However, the comeback effort fell short, as Clearwater SS Hao Yu Lee's two-RBI night was too much to overcome, in the Threshers' 4-2 win over the Tortugas on Thursday night at BayCare Ballpark.

Scoreless in the bottom of the first, 3B Kendall Simmons (1-4, R, SO) reached on a throwing error to start a rally. Following a pop-up to third, Lee (2-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) scalded a liner over the leaping glove of the third baseman and into the left-field corner for a double. Simmons scored all the way from first, while Lee advanced to third on the throw home to put the Threshers (15-12) in front, 1-0. RF Jadiel Sánchez (0-4, RBI, SO) brought another run home with a ground out to first.

An inning later, the Threshers continued to attack when 1B Anthony Quirion (2-3, R, 2B) punched a one-out double off the wall in left-center. Two batters later, DH Alexeis Azuaje (1-3, RBI, SO) poked a single into left field. Quirion scored from second, making it a 3-0 game, while Azuaje was tagged out between first and second to end the frame.

Daytona (13-17) broke up the shutout in the fourth. SS Gus Steiger (1-3, 2 R, BB, 2 SO) picked up the Tortugas' first hit with an infield single to third and scooted to second on a sacrifice bunt from CF Jay Allen II (1-3, RBI, SO). DH Jamal O'Guinn (1-3, 2B, RBI, BB) lifted a two-bagger to left, driving in Steiger, and drew the 'Tugas within a pair, 3-1.

In the sixth, Lee pushed the Threshers' lead back to three. Leading off the inning, the second-year pro from Taiwan clubbed a line drive that ricocheted off the concrete wall beyond the right-field berm and back onto the diamond for a solo home run. Lee's second home run of the season put Clearwater ahead, 4-1.

The Tortugas unfurled one last rally in the ninth. Steiger collected a walk with one out and moved to second when RF Austin Hendrick (0-3, SO) was plunked by a pitch. Allen reached base as the tying run when he slapped a ground ball through the right side of the infield for a single. Steiger scored from second, while Hendrick hustled to third, pulling Daytona within two again, 4-2.

That was as close as the visitors would get, though. Allen was caught stealing for the second out of the inning and, after O'Guinn reached once more on a walk, RHP Konnor Ash (0.1 IP, SO) entered out of the bullpen for Clearwater. With men at the corners and the go-ahead run at the plate, the right-hander elicited a strikeout looking to end the game and secure his second save.

RHP Jean Cabrera (4.0 IP, 2 H, R, ER, 6 SO) did not receive a decision for the Threshers in his Florida State League debut. RHP Eiberson Castellano (3.0 IP, H, 4 SO) posted three scoreless frames out of the bullpen for Clearwater, earning his first win of the season.

Despite yielding only one earned run, RHP Javi Rivera (5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, ER, BB, 5 SO) was saddled with his second defeat of the year. The 22-year-old tallied a career-high five innings of work in Thursday's start.

The Tortugas will attempt to return to the win column on Friday. RHP José Franco (0-1, 4.64) is anticipated to make start in game four of the series for Daytona. LHP Jordi Martínez (0-0, 1.50) is expected to get the ball for Clearwater. 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 Bay Care Ballpark.

After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, May 17, to open up a series against the Dunedin Blue Jays, the Florida State League affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. It will be a Breast Cancer Awareness Night presented by Radiology Associates Imaging. The Tortugas will don special pink-clad uniforms that will be auctioned off at the end of the season with all proceeds to raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. It is also a Silver Sluggers Night by Conviva, featuring special team store and concession stand deals for members, plus more. The series opener features Taco Tuesday with options at the concession stands starting at just $3.

Season tickets, multi-game plans, group packages, and single-game tickets are currently available and can be purchased online at www.daytonatortugas.com or by calling the Tortugas’ Ticket Office at (386) 257-3172.

ABOUT THE DAYTONA TORTUGAS
The Daytona Tortugas are the Single-A Affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds and a member of Minor League Baseball’s Florida State League. The Tortugas play at Jackie Robinson Ballpark in downtown Daytona Beach, Fla. Jackie Robinson Ballpark also plays host to Bethune-Cookman University, the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Museum, and many community events and initiatives of all sizes throughout the year.