The Tampa Yankees were looking to improve on their second half of the season record on Saturday night as they took on the Daytona Cubs at George M. Steinbrenner Field, however LHP Conner Kendrick (ERA 4.34) struggled in the top of third inning and the Yanks’ offense wasn’t able to keep up as they lost 11-4.
Tampa was down 3-0 when Rock Shoulders hit a three run homer on a fly ball to left field off of Kendrick. After 2 2/3 innings of work, Kendrick allowed 5 hits and 6 runs -including a homer and walked 4 batters. RHP Chris Smith (ERA 5.79) then took over pitching duties on the mound closing out the third and then pitching the fourth, allowing 4 hits and 1 run; striking out 2 batters.
Tampa’s first two runs cam in the bottom of the sixth, when Greg Bird started the inning with a ground-rule double on a fly ball to right field; his fourteenth of the year. Dante BIchette then singled, advancing Bird to third. Yeicok Calderon then hit a RBI single sending Bird home and advancing Bichette to third. A RBI single by Matt Snyder then sent Bichette home to tack on another run for the Yanks.
After a walk by Jake Cave, Bird hit another ground-rule double–his fifteenth, advancing Cave to third. Cave then scored when Bichette grounded out with Bird now at third. Calderon then hit another single send Bird home.
Though the T-Yanks were down by just three runs with a score of 7-4, the top of the seventh was rough once again. RHP Stefan Lopez (ERA 8.15) allowed 7 hits and 4 runs by the Cubs sending the Cubs’ run count to 11.
This time the T-Yanks just didn’t have enough time to rebound and dropped the first game of the series to the Daytona Cubs; Kendrick is charged with the loss (3-4).
The Tampa Yankees will take on the Daytona Cubs in the second game of the series on Sunday at 1:00pm, LHP Miguel Sulbaran (ERA 3.50; 1-1) will take the start for the T-Yanks.