Manatees Top Dunedin Blue Jays, 3-1
By Brevard County Manatees // April 20, 2014
Manatees next game set for monday at 7 p.m.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – After being shutout in back-to-back games on Friday evening, the Brevard County Manatees ended the Dunedin Blue Jays seven-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory on Saturday night at Space Coast Stadium.
With the score dead locked at 1-1 going to the bottom of the eighth, the Manatees
‘ (10-6) rally began with a single to center by third baseman Michael Garza.
Center fielder Tyrone Taylor reached base after being hit by a pitch and then both runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch by left-handed reliever and former Manatee Efrain Nieves.
Orlando Arcia proceeded to ground out bringing up catcher Cameron Garfield with one away.
It looked like the Manatees had taken the lead as the California native grounded a ball down the third base line.
However, home plate umpire Brennan Miller ruled the ball foul.
Two pitches later though, Garfield smacked a ball in between the hole at third and shortstop that scored both Garza and Taylor to put Brevard County up for good.
Tanner Poppe then came on in the top of the ninth to try and close out the victory. After a lead-off single by catcher Derrick Chung was erased on a double play, the right-hander struck out Jorge Flores looking to seal the victory and earned fifth save of the season.
The Manatees grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third as Taylor, who entered the day as the Minor League leader in doubles, laced a pitch from Dunedin (13-3) starter Matt Boyd over the fence and onto the berm in left field for his first home run of the season.
The shot from the center fielder was a rarity as it was the first run surrendered by the Oregon State product in 19.2 innings this season.
The home run was the only mistake made by the left-hander as he allowed just that one run on three hits.
The Blue Jays sixth-round pick in 2013 also struck out nine and walked three over six innings of work.
Boyd went toe-to-toe with Manatees starter Tyler Wagner who was stellar in his own right. Tied with Boyd for the Florida State League in wins entering the night, the former Utah Ute left after six scoreless innings as he allowed just four hits and struck out six, while not surrendering a walk.
However, Wagner did not pick up the victory as Dunedin rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh against Austin Ross.
After three straight singles by Gustavo Pierre, Jorge Flores and Christian Lopes with one out, Dwight Smith, Jr. hit a high chop towards second base.
Smith’s speed prevented the Manatees from turning an inning-ending double play as Pierre came across to score on the fielder’s choice to tie the game at one.
Ross went on to throw a scoreless eighth inning and struck out two as he went on to pick up his first win of the season.
The Manatees will have an off-day tomorrow before hitting the road to open a three-game series at George M. Steinbrenner Field against the Tampa Yankees (9-7) on Monday night at 7:00 p.m.
Brevard County will turn to right-hander Damien Magnifico (1-0, 3.38), who picked up his first victory of the season after a strong start in the Jackie Robinson Celebration Game last Tuesday.