Florida’s pitching staff extends scoreless-inning streak to 17 innings with second straight shutout
JUPITER, Fla. (May 4, 2017) – The Florida Fire Frogs continued their pitching dominance over the Palm Beach Cardinals on Thursday morning, shutting out the home team at Roger Dean Stadium, 3-0. Florida’s pitching staff allowed just one run in the final three games of the four-game series after allowing eight runs in the opener.
The three-game winning streak gives the Fire Frogs the series victory, snapping a string of two consecutive series defeats.
The Fire Frogs pitching staff made quick work of the Cardinals bats for a second consecutive day. Drew Harrington (3-2) shut out Palm Beach (14-13) over five innings and allowed just one hit while striking out four for his third win of the season. The product of Louisville has allowed just two earned runs over his last four starts, spanning across 23 innings. The left-hander needed just 63 pitches to work through the day, with 43 deliveries going for strikes.
Florida (13-15) took an early lead with two runs across in the third inning for the two-run advantage. Omar Obregon (2×3, R, BB) walked to start the frame and moved up to second on a bunt single by Ray-Patrick Didder (1×5, R). Jonathan Morales (0x4) flew out to center for the first out, leading to Austin Riley’s (2×4, R, HR, 3 RBI) two-run double to left to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Riley added an insurance run in the eighth with a two-out, solo shot over the wall in left for the third baseman’s fifth long ball of 2017. The 20-year-old accounted for all three of Florida’s runs on the day.
Josh Graham tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Harrington, collecting two punchouts on the day. Sean McLaughlin (SV, 2) faced a jam in the eighth after allowing two singles, but induced an around-the-horn double play off the bat of Leobaldo Pina to get out of the frame without any damage. The right-hander worked around a two-out walk in the ninth by getting Chris Chinea to ground out to second and lock down the shutout.
Derian Gonzalez (0-4) took the loss for Palm Beach, surrendering two runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts in seven innings.
The Fire Frogs head back home to Osceola County Stadium for a three-game, weekend set against the first-place Clearwater Threshers starting Friday, May 5. LHP Ricardo Sanchez (1-3, 3.52) takes the mound for the Florida, while it has yet to be determined who will start for Clearwater.
Friday will be Cinco de Mayo, where fans can join the Fire Frogs in celebrating the Mexican-American heritage in baseball and the Central Florida community. Osceola County Stadium will feature 12 oz. Corona Light and a shot of Sweet Heat Tequila for $5. May 5 will also be First Pitch Happy Hour at the ballpark, featuring $2 domestic drafts, $1 fountain drinks, or a $3 run drink! Happy Hour lasts from doors opening until first pitch. The series opener will feature a fireworks display at the end of the matchup.