DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Despite being held to two hits throughout the game, Daytona took advantage of the opportunities afforded to them. The Tortugas utilized 10 walks and two hit-by-pitches to their advantage, as Daytona defeated the Dunedin Blue Jays, 7-5, in front of 940 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Wednesday night.
The Tortugas (15-20) jumped ahead in the first with a two-out rally. CF Jay Allen II (0-2, R, RBI, 2 BB) collected a free pass and LF Jamal O'Guinn (0-3, R, BB, 3 SO) did the same. After a double steal of second and third, 1B Ruben Ibarra (1-1, 2B, 3 RBI, BB) pummeled a line drive over the center fielder's head and over the fence for a ground-rule double. Both men scored on the two-bagger to put Daytona in front, 2-0.
The lead did not last long. Dunedin (14-21) started the second with a double from DH Adriel Sotolongo (1-4, R, 2B, 2 SO), advancing to third on a wild pitch, and a walk to 3B Damiano Palmegiani (0-3, R, BB, SO). Following a fly out and a strikeout, 2B Francisco Fajardo (2-4, RBI) poked a single to center and SS Estiven Machado (2-5, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) wafted a double to left-center — scoring two — to knot the game.
In the third, the Blue Jays jumped in front. On the second pitch of the frame, RF Gabriel Martínez (1-5, R, HR, RBI) lifted a drive down the left-field line and to the left of the batting cages beyond the fence for a solo home run. The 19-year-old's fifth long ball of the season granted Dunedin a 3-2 advantage.
Two frames later, Daytona snagged the lead for good. The Tortugas loaded the bags on three-straight walks to 3B Braylin Minier (1-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB, SO), C Daniel Vellojín (0-4, R, BB, 2 SO), and 2B Tyler Callihan (0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, SO). Another four-pitch free pass to Allen tied the game at three and a hit-by-pitch on Ibarra's foot reeled in the go-ahead run.
Following a strikeout, Hendrick capped the three-run frame with another walk to put the 'Tugas up 5-3. In all, Daytona sent eight men to the plate in the frame without recording a hit.
Callihan created an insurance run for the Tortugas in the seventh. In his second game back off the injured list, the 21-year-old walked, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a wild pitch to grant Daytona a three-run edge, 6-3.
Dunedin's offense sprung to life again in the eighth. 1B Rainer Núñez (2-5, R, 2B, SO) poked a two-bagger to start the inning before scoring on a two-out double down the right-field line by LF Roque Salinas (1-4, R, 2B, RBI). C José Ferrer (1-4, 2B, RBI, 2 SO) added a double of his own into the left-field corner to draw the Blue Jays within one, 6-5.
After RHP Javi Rivera (3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 SO) induced a soft ground out to the mound to end the attack, Daytona snared one back in the home half.
With the bases empty and one out, Minier unloaded and punished a ball into the auxiliary parking lot beyond the right-field wall. The 18-year-old's second home run of the campaign put the 'Tugas back up a deuce, 7-5.
In the ninth, RHP Dennis Boatman (1.0 IP, H, 2 SO) entered and slammed the door shut. The Roseville, Calif. native worked around a one-out double to secure his team-leading fourth save and Daytona's second-straight win.
Neither starter received a decision on Wednesday. RHP Tanner Cooper (4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO) tied a season-high with four innings of work for Daytona, while Dunedin's RHP Luis Quiñónes (4.0 IP, H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO) struck out seven over four innings in his second minor league rehab start.
RHP Owen Holt (1.0 IP) tossed a perfect fifth inning — inducing three ground balls to third — to earn his first win of the year out of the bullpen for the Tortugas. Blue Jays' LHP Wilgenis Alvarado (0.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, SO) was saddled with his first loss of the campaign.
The series continues with the biggest party in Central Florida on a Thirsty Thursday™ presented by Bud Light. All fans will be able to beat the heat and enjoy their favorite draft beer or fountain soda for as low as $1 at concession and beer stands throughout the night.
The Tortugas are expected to give the ball to RHP Sam Benschoter (2-1, 4.05). The Blue Jays are projected to counter with LHP Kendry Rojas (2-1, 4.91). Coverage on the Tortugas Radio Network will begin on the MiLB First Pitch app and www.daytonatortugas.com at 6:50 p.m. leading up to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch from Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
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.