The Florida Fire Frogs struck early and took down the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 4-1, on Friday night at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium in the rubber match.
Florida (9-11, 34-52) jumped on Kyle Dowdy (7-6) early with a three-spot in the first. Alejandro Salazar (2×5, R, RBI) and Alay Lago (2×3, R) pieced together back-to-back singles in front of Carlos Castro’s (1×4, R, 3B, 2 RBI) triple to the right-field corner. Braxton Davidson (0x2, RBI, BB) followed with a sacrifice fly to right for the third run of the frame.
The three-run cushion was more than enough for Ricardo Sanchez (4-9), who’s lone blemish came in the second inning on an RBI single to left by Arcivent Perez.
The left-hander allowed the run on five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts. The 20-year-old has gone 1-1 against Lakeland (14-7, 44-43), with an ERA of 1.69 (3er/16ip), with 21 strikeouts in three starts.
Salazar drove in an insurance run in the fourth with a two-out, run-scoring single to right, plating Justin Ellison (1×4, R, 2B) from second for the 4-1 advantage.
Sean McLaughlin earned his second hold of the season with two scoreless frames out of the bullpen. Chad Sobotka (SV, 1) picked up his first save as a Fire Frog with three punchouts across two innings.
Florida heads over to George M. Steinbrenner Field for a three-game set against the Tampa Yankees starting Saturday night. RHP Andres Santiago (2-4, 6.51) goes for the Fire Frogs in the series opener against the Yankees’ RHP Dillon Tate (3-0, 2.66). First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m, with coverage starting at 6:15 p.m. on the Florida Fire Frogs Broadcasting Network.
Florida returns to Osceola County Stadium for a seven-game homestand starting Tuesday, July 18, with game one featuring another matchup against Lakeland. Game one of the three-game series will be “Fire Rum Tuesday” at the ballpark, where fans can enjoy $3 Fire Rum mixed drinks and $2 tostones. Every Monday through Wednesday game at Osceola County Stadium is “Service Industry Night,” where members of the service industry can access the home stadium of the Florida Fire Frogs at a discounted rate.