TAMPA, Fla. – A three-run eighth helped the Tampa Yankees (22-22) pull away with a 5-2 win in the series opener over the Brevard County Manatees (20-21) on Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Eric Jagielo crushed his 13th home run of the season in the eighth inning. The two-run shot proved to be the game-winner for the Yankees.
A solo blast by Aaron Judge broke a scoreless tie in the second. Judge sent a 3-2 fastball from Jorge Lopez over the wall in center field, giving Tampa a 1-0 lead.
The Manatees quickly responded off RHP Brett Gerritse in the third. With a runner at third and two outs, Orlando Arcia tied the game with a single up the middle.
The Yankees regained the lead in the bottom of the frame. Reymond Nunez hit a leadoff double down the third base line and later scored on a clutch two-out single by Cito Culver.
In the seventh, Brevard County tied the game for a second time. Victor Roache led off the inning with a triple against RHP Kyle Haynes (4-5). One out later, the run scored as Alfredo Rodriguez singled through the left side.
RHP Martin Viramontes (0-3) worked a perfect seventh before Tampa scored three in the eighth. Culver drew a one-out walk before scoring on the home run by Jagileo. Viramontes walked the next two batters and reliever Chad Pierce walked a third straight, loading the bases. One out later, a wild pitch by Pierce cashed in another run.
RHP Alex Smith entered for Tampa in the ninth and dealt a 1-2-3 inning, earning his fourth save of the season.
Gerritse worked six innings, allowing one run on five hits. The righty walked two and struck out three in a no-decision. Haynes earned the win, allowing a run on three hits and two walks in two innings.
Culver went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Jagielo went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Judge walked twice, going 1-for-2 with his sixth homer of the year. Nunez doubled in a 2-for-4 night.
The series continues with a double-header scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday. LHP Miguel Sulbaran (2-2, 2.85 ERA) will get the start in game one for Tampa as righty Taylor Garrison (0-0, 2.00 ERA) is set to make the start for game two.
Every Wednesday night Tampa Yankees home game, kids eat FREE! Kids 14 and under receive a coupon for a FREE scooter dog, cracker jacks, and small soda with the purchase of a reserved ticket ($5)! Also, kids run the bases after the game.