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Mets thwart Tortugas comeback bid, 4-3

Hayden Jones clubs first career home run, but Daytona leaves tying run at third in ninth
C Hayden Jones picked up a pair of base-hits including his first career home run, but the St. Lucie Mets held off the Daytona Tortugas, 4-3, on Friday night at Clover Park. (Ryan Dowd)
April 29, 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — C Hayden Jones collected a pair of knocks including his first career home run, but Daytona's comeback attempt fell 90 feet short in the ninth inning. The Mets scooted out to an early lead and held on to win, as St. Lucie edged past Daytona,

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — C Hayden Jones collected a pair of knocks including his first career home run, but Daytona's comeback attempt fell 90 feet short in the ninth inning. The Mets scooted out to an early lead and held on to win, as St. Lucie edged past Daytona, 4-3, on Friday night at Clover Park.

Trailing 4-2 entering the ninth, the Tortugas (9-10) sparked a one-out rally when SS Gus Steiger (1-3, R, BB) and pinch-hitter Andruw Salcedo (1-1) slapped consecutive singles into center field. After a fielder's choice at second registered the second out, CF Jay Allen II (1-3, RBI, SO) stepped in and quickly fell behind 0-2. Following three-straight foul balls, Allen stuck his bat out and dunked a hit into shallow right field. Steiger scored, while DH Debby Santana (0-3, R, 2 SO) went first to third with the tying tally.

RHP Dylan Hall (1.0 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 2 SO) was able to buckle down for the Mets (12-7). The 24-year-old induced swinging strikeout on a nasty 12-6 curveball to end the game and seal the first save of his professional career.

St. Lucie jumped out to an early lead in the first half of the contest. In the first, CF Stanley Consuegra (2-4, 2 R, 2B, SO) doubled down the left-field line and quickly scored on a knock to center by SS Shervyen Newton (2-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SO). RF Carlos Dominguez (1-3, BB, SO) singled the lead runner to third and LF Omar De Los Santos (1-3, RBI, BB) followed with a fourth-consecutive hit to put the Mets up a pair.

DH Alex Ramirez (1-5, R, 2B, 2 SO) started the St. Lucie half of the fifth with a double to straightaway center and advanced to third on a ground out. A pair of two-out walks kept the inning alive before the 19-year-old raced home to score on a wild pitch.

Jones (2-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) broke up the shutout for Daytona in the seventh. On the second pitch of the inning, the recently turned 22-year-old ripped a line drive that skipped off the roof of the Jim Beam Bourbon Bar in the left field for the first home run of his career.

St. Lucie snatched the run back in the home half of the inning when Consuegra single and scored from first on a 110 mph double to right from Newton.

The Tortugas made a two-run contest again in the eighth. Santana and Allen II were plunked and 3B Michel Triana (0-3, BB, 2 SO) drew a free pass to load the bases. A wild pitch with 1B Ruben Ibarra at the plate permitted Santana to score and make it a 4-2 contest.

RHP Alex Johnson (3.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO) settled in nicely after issuing a pair of runs in the first, but still suffered his first loss for Daytona.

St. Lucie's RHP Calvin Ziegler (4.1 IP, H, 9 SO) fell two outs shy of qualifying for his first career win, but still set career-highs in innings pitched and strikeouts in a no-decision. RHP Luis Moreno (3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO) earned his first victory of the season in relief for the Mets.

The Tortugas will look to return to the winner's circle in game five of the series on Saturday. RHP Javi Rivera (1-0, 1.64) is anticipated to make his second start of the year. The Mets are scheduled to counter with RHP Carson Seymour (1-0, 0.00). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 5:55 p.m. leading up to the 6:10 p.m. first pitch from Clover Park.

After the six-game road swing, the Tortugas will return to Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Tuesday, May 3, to open up a series against the Jupiter Hammerheads, the Florida State League affiliate of the Miami Marlins. 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 Labcorp, featuring special team store, concession stand deals for members, and 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.