The Florida Fire Frogs broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning by sending 14 men to the plate en route to scoring nine runs on seven hits and three errors, paving the way to a 13-4 victory to wrap up the 2017 home schedule, and give the Fire Frogs the series victory over the Blue Jays.
Carlos Castro (3×5, 2 R, 3 RBI) started the rally with a leadoff single on the first pitch of the from fromAdonys Cardona (4-7), and moved up to second on the walk to Brett Cumberland (1×3, 2 R, 2 BB).Braxton Davidson (2×5, R, 2 RBI) broke the tie with a broken-bat flare to center, pushing across Castro for the 5-4 lead.
Kevin Franklin (2×5, 2 R) rolled a 2-2 pitch out to short, but Bo Bichette bobbled to exchange from his glove, allowing all hands to be safe, loading the bags with nobody out. Matt Gonzalez (2×5, R, 2B, 2 RBI) poked an 0-1 fastball out to right field, scoring Cumberland and Davidson. Connor Panas’ throw to third bounced into the Fire Frogs’ bullpen, allowing Franklin to score, while Gonzalez to third.
Alonzo Gonzalez came in for Cardona and walked Stephen Gaylor (0x2, 3 R, 2 BB) on four pitches, and made an errant pickoff attempt to first, allowing Gonzalez to score the fifth run of the inning. The southpaw struck out Ray-Patrick Didder (2×5, 2B, 3 RBI) for the first out of the frame before being lifted to Daniel Lietz.
Alejandro Salazar (2×5, R, RBI) welcomed third pitcher of the inning to the game with a one-hop smash to first that was gloved by Juan Kelly, but the first baseman dropped the ball on his way to his feet, putting two runners on base. Alay Lago (1×4, R) was hit by the first pitch of his at-bat, to load the bases for the second time in the eighth.
Castro cleared the bases with a drive that one hopped the wall in right, stretching the home team’s lead to 12-4. After Cumberland shot to the track in straightaway center allowed Castro to advance to third, Franklin singled Davidson drove in his second run of the inning with a liner to right to cap off the nine-run inning.
Chase Johnson-Mullins walked Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. to start the ninth, but the lefty struck ou Panas and Kelly in front of Cavan Biggio’s game-ending fly out to left to lock down Florida’s (23-37, 48-77) 11th series victory of the season.
Enderson Franco (6-6) earned the win with his second consecutive eight-inning performance. The 24-year-old did surrender a 3-2 lead off a two-run homer from Kelly in the fourth, but held Dunedin (35-30, 69-65) off the board through his final four innings of work. The right-hander allowed all four runs on seven hits, a walk and six strikeouts.
Didder gave the Fire Frogs a 3-1 edge in the second with the first bases-clearing double of the night for the Atlanta Braves affiliate, scoring Cumebrland, Franklin and Gaylor on a shot down the line in left.
Florida heads to the road to take on the Daytona Tortugas at Jackie Robinson Ballpark for the final five games of the inaugural campaign starting Thursday. RHP Junior Rincon (1-0, 3.63) takes the mound in the opener of the doubleheader on day one, while it has yet to be determined who the other pitchers will be for either side throughout the day. First pitch is set for 5:35 p.m.