Clearwater 4 at Sarasota 3
W: J. Trujillo (1-0, 0.00); L: S. Watson (0-1, 6.00); SV: R. Swindle (1)
For a while, it looked like the Sarasota Reds really wanted to travel over to see the Brevard County Manatees tonight. For a while.
Sarasota jumped out to an early lead as Cody Strait scored off a failed force attempt on Tonys Gutierrez. A fielding error by Clearwater's Brad Harman led to the run with 2 men on base, both walked by Antonio Bastardo.
Clearwater finally got to former Miracle pitcher Alexander Smit in the 4th when Brad Harmon singled and Jeremy Slayden drew a walk. Jake Blalock doubled in the pair on a fly out to center.
The Reds took their lead back though in the bottom of the inning with Eric Eymann doubling in Gutierrez, then passing the plate when Clearwater's Jason Donald threw the ball away.
Sean Watson would replace Smith in the top of the 5th. He'd work 2 innings before the Threshers rallied in 7th.
Clay Harris singled his way onto base. With 2 outs, Brian Burgamy plated him to tie up the game, then stole 2nd base. Brad Harman would draw a walk, Jason Donald would be hit by a pitch and then Jeremy Slayden would walk to force in a run. That prompted the Reds to put Dan Denham onto the mound to get the last out.
The Reds could get nothing off Bear Hill or Rob Swindle and it will be the Clearwater team, not the Sarasota team, taking the bus over to Spacecoast Stadium for a pair of games this weekend.
Smit surrendered two runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 frames for Sarasota.