The Brevard County Manatees continued their road trip Monday night at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Manatees got out to an early lead, but the Yankees came back to win the game, 4-2.
Things started about as well as the Manatees could hope in the top of the first inning. Omar Garcia smoked a double down the left field line against Tampa starter Jordan Montgomery. Chris McFarland followed with an RBI single and just like that, the Manatees were up 1-0.
McFarland was forced out on a Clint Coulter grounder and one out later Robinzon Diaz singled, moving Coulter to second. Taylor Brennan walked to load the bases, but Montgomery got Dustin Houle to fly out, ending the inning. The Manatees couldn’t add on in that first inning and they were stalled in the third and fourth innings by double plays.
Missing those opportunities would prove costly for the Manatees, because the Yankees offense would get to Brevard County starter Jorge Ortega, in the bottom of the fourth. Mike Ford started the inning with a single and came home two outs later on Ericson Leonora’s two-run blast, giving the Yankees the lead.
The Manatees (18-24, 47-64 overall) bounced back in the top of the fifth. Angel Ortega reached on an error with one out. Montgomery issued a walk to Omar Garcia, putting runners at first and second. After McFarland lined out, Coulter singled to left, scoring Ortega with the tying run.
Tampa (21-23, 55-59 overall) put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Mike Ford tripled to start the frame and scored on Miguel Andujar’s ground-rule double. Leonora worked a walk one out later and Michael O’Neill plated Andujar with a single, giving the home team a 4-2 lead.
Ortega (8-8) suffered his third loss in four starts. He pitched six innings Monday, allowing eight hits and four runs. He walked one and struck out four. Montgomery (4-4) went six innings allowing one earned run on six hits, walked two and struck out seven.
The Manatees used Trevor Seidenberger out of the bullpen for two innings. He allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three. Tampa’s bullpen used Caleb Frare out of their ‘pen for 1.2 innings and Giovanny Gallegos came on for the last 1.1, earning the save.
For more info: Brevard County @ Tampa boxscore
The Manatees got four of their seven hits from the top of their order. Coulter went 2-for-4. Tampa got 11 hits as a team, four of their first five hitters had two hits each.
Brevard County will send Johnny Hellweg (1-3, 7.20 ERA) to the mound in game two of the series on Tuesday. Tampa will counter with Vicente Campos (1-5, 6.35 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.