Fairchild homers for second-straight day, as Tortugas roll
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Thanks to another home run from CF Stuart Fairchild and multi-RBI games from 2B Alejo López and SS José García, Daytona completed their third sweep of Lakeland, as the Tortugas bested the Flying Tigers, 6-3, in front of 1,387 fans at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.
Daytona (12-14, 47-44) jumped ahead early, scoring in each of the second, third, and fourth innings. After a hit-by-pitch of García (1-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, SO) to start the second and a single from 1B Bruce Yari (1-3, BB) that advanced him to third, LF Lorenzo Cedrola (0-2, RBI) put the Tortugas in front, 1-0, with a sacrifice fly to center.
In the third, C Mark Kolozsvary (0-1, 2 R, SO) was plunked to begin the frame. The 23-year-old catcher moved to second on a ground out, third on a wild pitch, and then crossed on an RBI knock to center by López (3-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI). An inning later, Fairchild (1-4, R, HR, RBI, SO) hammered the first pitch of the frame around the foul pole in left for a solo home run. The former second-round pick’s eighth home run with Daytona pushed their lead to three, 3-0.
Courtesy of the long ball, Lakeland (10-16, 39-52) knotted the game up in the top of the fifth. With two retired, C Jon Rosoff (2-3, R, 2B) and 3B A.J. Simcox (2-3, R, 3B) got aboard with consecutive singles. On the first delivery he saw, CF Brock Deatherage (1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 SO) smashed a deep fly ball to right. The former North Carolina State star’s shot sailed over the fence for a three-run home run – his fourth – to knot it at three.
The tie did not last long, as Daytona jumped ahead for good in the bottom of the inning. Another hit-by-pitch of Kolozsvary began the attack with one out and 3B Yonathan Mendoza (2-4, R) kept the rally alive with a two-out single. López followed by hitting a ground ball to the right side. The Phoenix, Ariz. resident beat out the throw to first – with the base umpire saying the first baseman was off the bag – for a run-producing infield single.
Now ahead 4-3, Fairchild reached on a fielding error to keep the inning going and load the bases. García proceeded to smack a double off the base of the left-field wall – scoring a pair – to extend the Tortugas advantage back to three, 6-3.
RHP Wendolyn Bautista (6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 3 SO) hurled his third-straight quality start, earning his second victory in the process. RHP Julio Pinto (1.0 IP, 3 SO) struck out the side in order in the ninth to garner his third Florida State League save.
Lakeland’s RHP Elvin Rodríguez (5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, BB, 3 SO) had his five-start winning streak snapped, as the 21-year-old was saddled with his fourth defeat of 2019.
Following Monday’s off day, Daytona will remain at home and welcome the Jupiter Hammerheads, the High-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins, for a three-game series on Tuesday, July 16. It will be a Silver Sluggers Night presented by MetCare at the ballpark, as members of the Tortugas’ exclusive 60-and-older club receive a free drink, discounted Michelob Ultra, and a reserved ticket for every Tuesday night home game. Fans will also be able to join in with Baseball Bingo through the night. The squad will host another Cancer Awareness Night at the ballpark presented by Radiology Imaging Centers. Daytona players and coaches will don special pink-tinted uniforms that highlight many local cancer survivors. Fans are encouraged to come hungry for a Taco Tuesday at The Jack with beef and chicken tacos going for just $2.