On Thursday the Tarpons took on the Charlotte Stone Crabs at George M. Steinbrenner Field. There was some extra buzz in the stadium with Clint Frazier making his return to game action and season debut. The pitching matchup saw right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga for the Tarpons go against Stone Crabs righty Mikey York.
The Tarpons wasted no time as they jumped all over York in the bottom of first pushing six runs across the board as York struggled to hit his spots. Thairo Estrada led off the game lacing a double to the left-field wall. Estevan Florial would follow with a nice piece of hitting sending a breaking ball to the opposite field in left.
Clint Frazier worked a four-pitch to load the bases for veteran big leaguer Adam Lind. Lind lined a single to the gap scoring Estrada and Florial. With runners on the corners, Isiah Gilliam would bring home another with a sacrifice fly.
Back-to-back infield singles by Brandon Wagner and Alexander Palma would load the bases for the second time in the inning. Second baseman Diego Castillo followed by lining a double that would score two more runs for the Tarpons. An RBI groundout by catcher Francisco Diaz would push across one more run in the frame as the Tarpons batted around.
York would limit the damage at six when Estrada who was hitting for his second time in the inning had his bid for a home run come up a few feet short in left.
The Tarpons would push across one more run in the bottom of the fourth as Clint Frazier collected his first hit of the year. Frazier laced a double to left center and advanced to third on a bobble by the outfielder. Frazier would score as Lind added his second hit of the night with a single to right. Diego Castillo, Alexander Palma, and Estevan Florial all had multi-hit efforts on the night.
On the mound Jonathan Loaisiga, 2-0 so far this season, was in control most of the night. He has gotten off to a strong start this season and kept the momentum going tonight as he struck out the side in the first working around a walk. The right-hander’s stuff was strong on Thursday as his fastball hovered between 95-96mph and he touched 97 a handful of times. Loaisiga ran into trouble in the third frame but was able to limit the damage to only one run. Loaisiga’s final line on the evening was impressive as he scattered six hits surrendered one run with seven punchouts and no free passes.
Right-Hander Chase Hodson came on in relief of Loaisiga in the sixth and struck out five in two innings of work. Right-hander Mathew Frawley would be next out of the pen and struck out three batters in his two innings of work.
The Tarpons will be back the George tomorrow evening for game two of the four-game set in Tampa.