DUNEDIN, Fla. – The Tampa Yankees (25-25) suffered their second shutout of the season in a 9-0 final against the Dunedin Blue Jays (21-29) on Sunday afternoon at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
Blue Jays RHPs Jeff Hoffman and Alberto Tirado combined for the shutout and pitched to one batter over the minimum in a game that lasted two hours and four minutes.
Roemon Fields scored the opening run of the game. After leadoff the third inning with a double, Christian Lopes drove Fields home by singing into right field.
LHP Chaz Hebert labored into the seventh inning before Dunedin erupted with five more runs. Derrick Loveless singled and advanced to third on a double by Jorge Saez. Fields singled home Loveless before Evan Rutckyj entered in relief of Hebert. Lopes greeted the new southpaw with a run-scoring single before L.B. Dantzler blasted a three-run home run over the right field wall, giving Dunedin a 6-0 lead.
Hebert (3-4) allowed four runs on 12 hits in six innings of work, walking one batter while striking out five.
The Blue Jays added three more runs against left-hander Jonny Drozd in the eighth. Loveless hit a leadoff double and later scored on a two-batter by Lopes. Dantzler followed with a walk and Matt Dean grounded a two-run single up the middle of a drawn-in infield.
Rutckyj was tagged for two runs on three hits in one inning. Drozd allowed three runs on four hits in his inning, walking one while striking out a pair.
Hoffman (1-1) earned his first professional win after pitching five shutout frames, scattering two hits while striking out three. Tirado dealt a season-high four scoreless innings, allowing a hit while striking out a pair in his first save of the year.
SS Brendan Ryan appeared in the game for the Tampa Yankees on a rehab assignment by the New York Yankees. Ryan batted second and played shortstop for all nine innings, going 1-for-3 with a double. Ryan suffered a Grade 2 calf strain during spring training on April 1st and is currently on the 60-day disabled list.
The series wraps up on Monday night at 6:30. RHP Jonathan Holder (3-2, 2.70 ERA) will take the hill for the T-Yanks. RHP Murphy Smith (2-3, 4.15 ERA) is scheduled to start for the D-Jays.