The Florida Fire Frogs had a chance at a doubleheader sweep on Sunday, but fell in extra frames to close out a four-game series against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field. The 6-0 and 7-6 losses handed Florida its ninth series defeat of the season.
Game One: Florida – 0, Clearwater – 6
Florida (22-30) had no luck against Clearwater (24-30) starter Sixto Sanchez (4-3) in the front end of the twin bill on Sunday, as the hard-throwing right-hander became the second pitcher to go the distance against the Fire Frogs with seven shutout frames.
Florida’s offense was able to collect just two hits against Sanchez, with Garrison Schwartz (1×2) and Shean Michel (1×2) being the only batters to get base knocks. Brett Cumberland (0x2) did draw a walk to start the seventh inning to stretch his on-base streak to 12 games.
Dilmer Mejia (0-1) allowed all six runs in the first three innings. The lefty surrendered an RBI single to Edgar Cabral in the opening frame, a solo home run to Jose Pujols to start the second, a three-run home run off the bat of Mickey Moniak in the third, as well as another RBI single from Pujols two batters later.
Game Two: Florida – 6, Clearwater – 7
Kyle Muller took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning and had Adam Haseley start the inning with a double. After Austin Listi flew out, the lefty walked Henri Lartigue, but rebounded to retire Moniak on a fly ball to left.
Thomas Burrows took over with the two inherited runners, and walked Gabriel Lino to load the bases. Pujols followed with a two-run single off the wall in right to put Florida behind by a run entering the final frame of regulation.
Ray-Patrick Didder (1×3, 2 R, BB) started the seventh by drawing a free pass against Aaron Brown. Two batters later, Cristian Pache (1×4, RBI) bounced a hit-and-run ball past Jose Gomez at second, allowing Didder to score all the way from first and tie the game at two.
The Fire Frogs pushed across four runs in the top of the eighth off of Garrett Cleavinger (1-0) to take their second lead of the game. Alejandro Salazar (0x4, R) scored on Kurt Hoekstra’s (1×3, RBI) sacrifice fly to center to give the visitors their second one-run advantage of the day.
After Schwartz flew out, Braxton Davidson (1×3, R, RBI, BB) walked and Didder singled to load the bases for Jordan Rodgers (1×4, 3B, 3 RBI), who sent the first pitch Cleavinger into the gap in left-center to bring home all three runners.
Josh Graham (1-1) took over in the bottom half of the frame, but immediately gave up an RBI double to Austin Listi to cut the lead to three. The right-hander walked Lartigue in front of Moniak’s RBI knock to squeeze the advantage down to two.
The product of Oregon walked Gabriel Lino to load the bases, and uncorked a wile pitch to Pujols, allowing Lartigue to score to make the score 7-6. The at-bat ended with Pujols shooting a single to right, bringing home the tying run.
An intentional walk to Gomez loaded the bases again, but Graham got a soft liner off the bat of Brain Mims for the first out of the inning. Arquimedes Gamboa ended the contest with a walk-off single to right, plating Luke Williams to end the day.
Florida heads to LECOM Park to take on the Bradenton Marauders for game one of a four-game series beginning Monday night. RHP Jeremy Walker (1-4, 4.76) takes the mound in the opener for the Fire Frogs against the Marauders’ RHP Luis Escobar (3-3, 3.94). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., with coverage beginning at 6:15 p.m. with the Florida Fire Frogs Pregame Show on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.