Cristian Pache continued his hot stretch at the plate for the Florida Fire Frogs with a two-hit performance in a 10-6 loss to the Clearwater Threshers on Saturday night at Spectrum Field. The 19-year-old extended his hitting streak to a season-high, nine games.
With Florida (22-28) trailing 10-1 in the eighth inning, Pache (2×4, 2 R, 2B, BRI, BB) smacked a run-scoring double down the line in left, plating Lucas Herbert (1×4, R, 2B) from second. The centerfielder added his second hit of the night with a single to left with one out in the final frame. Pache is hitting .357 during his hitting streak, raising his average from .279 to .296.
Ian Anderson (0-3) lasted just two innings in his 10th start of the season. The right-hander allowed an RBI single to Mickey Monica in the first to put the Fire Frogs in a 1-0 deficit after the opening inning.
Troy Bacon came out to of the bullpen and allowed a run in the third on an RBI single off the bat of Arquimedes Gamboa. The Tampa native then allowed one run to cross in the fourth due to run-scoring knock from big-league rehabber, J.P. Crawford.
Jon Kennedy was the next man to the mound for Luis Salazar with an inherited runner, but surrendered a two-run single to Henri Lartigue to push Florida behind by five. Two more runs came across against the southpaw in the sixth with an RBI double from Austin Listi and an RBI fielder’s choice by Jose Pujols.
Mauricio Cabrera came out of the ‘pen for the second consecutive night, and allowed a three-run shot to Austin Listi to create a 10-1 separation.
Florida put up crooked numbers in the final two frames against Clearwater’s (22-30) bullpen, with a three-spot in the eighth and two more in the ninth.
After Pache’s double in the eighth, Marcus Mooney (2×5, 2 R, RBI) drove the runner home with a single to right to bring the visitors within 10-3. Jared James (1×5) and Braxton Davidson (2×3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB) followed with a single and a walk to load the bases for Garrison Schwartz (0x5), who flew out to shallow left field for the first out of the inning.
Salazar drove in his second run of the night with a fielder’s choice to short, erasing Davidson from the base paths.
In the ninth, Pache reached with a one-out single and moved up to third on Mooney’s single to left. James popped out for the second out in front of Davidson’s two-run double off the wall in right to bring the Fire Frogs within 10-6.
Mooney pitched the eighth inning and kept the Threshers off the board, despite handing out a one-out walk to Pujols. The product of South Carolina has appeared in two games out of the bullpen for Florida this season, and has not allowed a run in two innings on a hit and a free pass. The 24-year-old also became the first Fire Frog pitcher to have a plate appearance and a hit.
Florida will go for the series victory in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Spectrum Field. LHP Kyle Muller (0-1, 4.12) takes the mound for the Fire Frogs in the opener against the Threshers’ RHP Sixto Sanchez (3-3, 2.95), while it has yet to be determined who will take the mound for either team in the finale. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m., with coverage beginning at 12:45 p.m. with the Florida Fire Frogs Pregame Show on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.