The Brevard County Manatees snapped a five-game losing streak on Wednesday, with a 1-0 win at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. With the win, the Manatees took 10 of 18 games in the season series.
Brandon Woodruff, who is coming back from an oblique injury, pitched seven strong innings Tuesday, holding the Tampa Yankees to four hits, three coming in the first inning. This outing was on the heels of a four-inning relief appearance earlier this month that saw him give up one hit.
Tampa, who tallied 15 hits in Tuesday’s 12-7 win over the Manatees were kept off-balance by Woodruff for much of the night. Abiatal Avelino led off the first inning with a single. Mike Ford and Miguel Andujar singled in the inning as well, but on Andujar’s single, Jose Pena came up firing in left field and threw Ford out to end the inning.
Brevard County (48-65) got their only run of the night in the second inning, against Tampa starter Chaz Hebert. Garrett Cooper and Robinzon Diaz started the inning with back-to-back singles. After Taylor Brennan struck out, Dustin Houle singled. Cooper scored on the single, but Ericson Leonora’s throw was cut off by Andujar, with Diaz caught between second and third. A wild play ensued that involved many touches of the baseball by the Yankee infield, before Diaz was eventually tagged out. When all was said and done, it was a 7-5-6-4-7 on the put out. Houle was safe at second on the play. With two outs, Pena singled, but Steven Halcomb struck out to end the frame.
Woodruff (2-5) took it from there, overcoming a third inning error and shutting the door on the Tampa offense. He allowed just one more single in the seventh inning to Kyle Higashioka. He came right back to get Dan Fiorito to ground into a double play. Woodruff gave the Manatees seven phenomenal innings, giving up just three four hits. He walked one and struck out four, throwing 89 pitches – 62 for strikes. Preston Gainey was called on to pitch the final two innings. It was an adventure to say the least.
Avelino led off with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. One out later, Houle tried to pickoff Avelino at first, but the catchers’ throw went into right field, moving Avelino to third. Andujar was the Yankees last hope and he put a charge into one, sending Omar Garcia back to the wall in center, before he caught the ball, ending the game and earning Gainey his sixth save of the season.
For more info: Brevard County @ Tampa boxscore
Garrett Cooper and Chris McFarland each went 2-for-4 for the Manatees, who managed eight hits. Avelino had two of the Yankees five hits. Brevard County returns home Thursday to take on the Dunedin Blue Jays at Space Coast Stadium. Wei-Chung Wang (8-4, 3.91 ERA) will throw the first pitch at 6:35 p.m.