TAMPA – Defense struggled for the Tampa Yankees (33-35) as the Dunedin Blue Jays scored five unearned runs with the help of four errors to win the series-opener, 5-3, on Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The Blue Jays took a 3-0 lead in the second against Cale Coshow. An error allowed Matt Dean to reach, leading off the inning. Following back-to-back strikeouts, Christian Lopes drew a walk. Derrick Loveless singled home Dean and Martin Medina lined a two-run double to the wall in left-center.
Coshow allowed three unearned runs on three hits in four and a third innings, walking one batter while tallying a career-high seven strikeouts in a no-decision.
The Yankees cut into the deficit with a pair of runs off Jeff Hoffman in the third. Abiatal Avelino singled and reached second on a bobble by Loveless in right field. With Tyler Wade at the plate, Avelino stole third. One out later, Hoffman hit Miguel Andujar with a pitch. Mike Ford then singled into right, scoring Avelino. Later, Ericson Leonora scored Andujar with a base hit to center.
Hoffman surrendered two runs on seven hits in five innings, walking one batter while hitting another and striking out two in a no-decision for Dunedin.
Tampa tied the score in the bottom of the seventh. Wade reached on an infield single and stole second. Andujar then hit an RBI single towards the second base bag and reached second on an overthrow by shortstop Dawel Lugo. Ford singled, placing the go-ahead run at third, but RHP Matt Dermody (2-0) then retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Dunedin quickly regained the lead in the top of the eighth. RHP Giovanny Gallegos (2-1) entered for Tampa and J.D. Davis reached on a strikeout-wild pitch to begin the frame. One out later, Dean made it to first on an error at third by Andujar. A balk by Gallegos advanced the runners and Mitch Nay delivered an RBI sacrifice fly.
The Blue Jays tacked on an insurance run in the ninth. Gallegos hit Lopes to start the inning and Loveless sacrificed him to second with a bunt. One out later, Roemon Fields hit an infield single towards third and a wild throw by Andujar allowed Lopes to score.
RHP Wil Browning tossed a 1-2-3 ninth, earning his 12th save of the year with Dunedin.
The series continues on Tuesday when RHP Gabriel Encinas (1-1, 2.34 ERA) takes the hill for the T-Yanks. RHP Luis Santos (4-5, 5.04 ERA) is scheduled to toss for the D-Jays. First pitch is schedule for 7:00 p.m. On 2-for-1 Tuesday, fans can enjoy 2 for 1 Tickets, Scooter Dogs, SM Popcorn, Peanuts, SM Sodas, Programs & Speed Pitch from 6-8pm. The 2 for 1 Tickets can only be purchased at the Steinbrenner Field box office.