TAMPA – The Tampa Yankees (24-24) fell back to .500 as the Palm Beach Cardinals (23-25) salvaged a split of the series with a 3-1 win on Friday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
The Cardinals jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning against LHP Conner Kendrick. Casey Turgeon reached on an infield single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Later in the inning, Collin Radack delivered a two out single to score Turgeon.
Palm Beach starter Jimmy Reed (4-2) proved to be nearly unhittable. The southpaw did not allow a base runner to reach until an infield single by Angelo Gumbs with two outs in the third. An infield hit by Abiatal Avelino in the sixth and a seventh inning bloop hit by Mark Payton proved to be the only other hiccups by Reed, who dealt seven shutout innings and struck out five in the win.
Kendrick surrendered an unearned run in the fourth. Collin Radack reached on a one out walk and advanced to third as Carson Kelly doubled to left center. Radack then scored as Jake Gronsky reached on an error at third by Avelino.
Turgeon hit a two out single in the fifth and stole second base. Mason Katz followed by lining an RBI hit into right field, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead.
Despite a quality start, Kendrick (2-3) suffered the loss. The left-hander allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in a season-high six and a third innings, walking five while striking out one.
RHP Chad Taylor entered in the seventh for Tampa and retired seven of the eight batters he faced, striking out four in his relief outing.
The Yankees avoided a shutout thanks to a run in the bottom of the ninth. RHP Josh Lucas hit Avelino to begin the frame. A groundout by Tyler Wade moved the runner to second before Miguel Andujar chopped an RBI single up the middle. Tampa brought the tying run to the plate, but RHP Chris Perry entered and recorded the final two outs to earn his sixth save of the season for Palm Beach.
Up next, Tampa travels to Dunedin for a three game series with the Blue Jays. RHP Rookie Davis (2-3, 3.82 ERA) is set to start for the T-Yanks against RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski (2-2, 3.81 ERA) for the D-Jays.
The Yankees return home on Thursday, June 4th for a game at 7:00 p.m. against the Clearwater Threshers. On Throwback Thursday, fans can enjoy $2 reserved ticket & $1 general admission ticket. 14 oz. Draft Beer for $2 and $1 SM Soda from 6-8pm. Silver Slugger Members get free admission.