Blue Jays End Manatees Win Streak

By  //  August 15, 2012

Drew Gagnon Starts Tonight

DUNEDIN, FLORIDA – The Brevard County Manatees had their three-game winning streak snapped as they dropped the first game of a three-game series to the Dunedin Blue Jays, 4-3 on Tuesday night at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.

Outfielder Reggie Keen of Brevard County tripled, drove in a run and scored a run for the Manatees Tuesday against Dunedin. (Image courtesy Brevard County Manatees)

The ‘Tees (28-23 second half, 57-62 overall) had a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but the Jays (26-23, 68-48) proceeded to score three runs in the inning and held on for the victory.

Dunedin scored the first run of the game in the first inning and it started with Kenny Wilson singling to center and then reaching second on an error by center fielder Reggie Keen. Two batters later, Wilson would score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Kevin Pillar.

Keen would atone for his error in the first as his two-out triple in the top of the third, plated Joey Paciorek and tied the game up. One batter later, Nick Shaw would give Brevard the lead as he drove in Keen with a RBI single.

The one unearned run in the first inning was all that the Blue Jays would get off of Manatees starting pitcher Brandon Williamson (3-9, 5.74). Williamson yielded five hits in six innings of work, did not walk a batter and fanned five. After struggling most of the season, Williamson has pitched his best ball in August as he has a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings over two starts with ten strikeouts.

Tommy Toledo relieved Williamson in the seventh and ran into trouble right away as he allowed a lead-off walk to Jack Murphy. Marcus Knecht then doubled to put runners on second and third and then Jon Berti would clear the bases and give Dunedin a 3-2 lead with a two-run triple.

After striking out the next two batters, Toledo allowed a single to Jonathan Jones that brought Berti home and made it a 4-2 game in favor of the Jays. After allowing another single, Toledo was lifted and Seth Harvey came in to get the last out of the inning.

Brevard County was able to string together a few singles in the top of the eighth off of Dustin Antolin and cut Dunedin’s lead to 4-3 thanks to a RBI single from Shaw. With the tying run on second with one out, the Blue Jays brought in their closer Danny Barnes and he was able to retire the last two ‘Tees of the inning and set Brevard down in order in the ninth to earn his 30th save of the season.

The Manatees struck out a season-high 15 times on Tuesday against Dunedin, including ten times in five innings against Blue Jays starter Sean Nolin. In three starts against Brevard over 13.2 innings, Nolin has recorded 23 strikeouts against the ‘Tees.

Shaw was the only Manatee with a multi-hit night as he also drove in two runs. Shea Vucinich and John Dishon each had a double, to go along with Keen’s triple for Brevard County’s three extra-base hits on the night.

Despite the loss to the Jays, first place Tampa also lost so the Manatees remain one game back of the Yankees. However, Dunedin and Lakeland are both nipping on Brevard’s heels as both teams are two games back of Tampa.

Brevard County will look to get back on track in the second game of their series with Dunedin on Wednesday night at 6:35 p.m. Drew Gagnon (0-2, 3.83) will get the start for the Manatees and he is still looking for his first win with Brevard.