Cumana plays hero as Threshers prevail in dramatic game 1


By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

Three Phillies minor league affiliates made it to the postseason in 2018 and Advanced 'A' Clearwater was the first team to start their series on Tuesday night. After finishing under .500 in the first half of the season, the Threshers used a 45-24 record in the second half to punch their ticket to the Florida State League playoffs.

Clearwater wasted no time getting ahead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Henri Lartigue laced a two-run double to left and Luke Williams followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0. An Arquimedes Gamboa RBI single extended their lead to 4-0 in the second. 

Daytona responded in the fourth with two runs of their own, but the Threshers came right back with two more runs courtesy of an RBI triple off the bat of Kevin Markham and and RBI single from Daniel Brito, putting their lead at 6-2.

The Tortugas added a run in the fifth, two more runs in the seventh and one more in the eighth to tie things at 6-6. With the go-ahead run in scoring position with two outs in the top of the either, Daytona's Stuart Fairchild singled to left. Alfredo Rodriguez attempted to score from second, but Threshers left fielder Grenny Cumana had other plans, nailing Rodriguez at home to keep the game locked at six a piece heading into the bottom of the eighth. 

Cumana would play hero in the bottom half of the inning as well, sending a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left to give Clearwater a 7-6 win and a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-three against Daytona.

Phillies No. 3 ranked prospect Adonis Medina got the start and tossed six innings, giving up three runs while striking out four and walking three. Addison Russ got the final out in the eighth and all three in the ninth to earn the save. 

Daniel Brito and Henri Lartigue each had two hits.

The Threshers will look to sweep their opening series against Daytona on Wednesday evening on the road. Alejandro Requena (4-4, 3.60) will take the mound in game 2. He faced the Daytona Tortugas twice in his final 10 starts this season, combining to pitch 12 innings and giving up just two runs while striking out 15 and walking one.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Class 'A' Lakewood both start their first-round series' on Wednesday night as well.

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