The Tampa Yankees swept their division rival, the Clearwater Threshers, in their last series and after an off day on Sunday, the Yanks were back at George M. Steinbrenner Field Monday night and were joined by a few Major League players in RHP Ivan Nova and second baseman Gregorio Petit. The twenty eight year old Nova started just four games in 2014 where is ERA was a shocking 8.47 along with a (2-2) record and was then diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in mid-April and had to undergo Tommy John Surgery.
Petit suffered a contusion on his right hand on May 5th when he was hit by a pitch in a game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With both Nova and Petit in the lineup, the T-Yanks were ready to take on the Jupiter Hammerheads in this four game homestand.
The Yanks got on the board first in the bottom of the second, Mike Ford scored the first run of the game after a wild pitch by Jupiter’s Jose Adames. Dante Bichette Jr. scored the second run of the game after a sacrifice fly by Derek Toadvine.
After a throwing error by both Bichette and then a fielding error by Petit, the Hammerheads got runners aboard. Another fielding error by Gregorio Petit then allowed Jupiter’s Chris Hoo to score and make it a 2-1 ballgame.
In the top of the fifth, the hammerheads tied the game at two runs a piece with a RBI single by Avery Romero.
Nova pitched four and two thirds allowing three hits and two runs-one earned-striking out three and walking one batter over 72 pitches, 55 of those being strikes. RHP Cale Coshow (ERA 3.00) then pitched the remainder of the fifth and then the remaining four innings.
In the top of the seventh Jupiter’s Harold Riggins hit his second homer of the season, a solo on a fly ball to right field.
Coshow pitched four and one third allowing three hits, the one run scored by Riggins and struck out five batters.
Petit was 1 for 2 with a walk and two fielding errors and was replaced by pinch-hitter Angelo Gumbs in the bottom of the eighth.
With a final score of 3-2, the T-Yanks fell to the Hammerheads with Coshow being charged with the loss (2-1).
Nova is definitely expected to make more rehab appearances on his way back to the Bronx, but Monday night’s performance was definitely a good start for his first start in over a year.
The Tampa Yankees’ second game of the series against the Jupiter Hammerheads at 7:00pm on Tuesday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.