Tampa Yankees Recap: Mike Ford Fuels a 7-1 Win In Home Opener


After a 9-2 win in Lakeland in their season opener, the Tampa Yankees looked to continue their success in their home opener at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Former first-round amateur pick, Ian Clarkin who only started once last season due to elbow inflammation was on the mound for Tampa. Clarkin in his only appearance last season went five innings giving up seven hits and one earned run. He’d improve upon that one appearance yesterday in the Yankees second win of the season.

Clarkin would have trouble with his control earlier in the game. Cameron Maybin who is on his rehab assignment for the Detroit Tigers started the day off with a double to center field. After a ground out and a wild pitch he’d eventually score, but it’d be the only run the Flying Tigers got in the game. Despite the control, Clarkin only walked one batter and gave up that one run. Also, with totaling two strikeouts on the night the Flying Tigers would only get three hits off of Clarkin. While Clarkin didn’t receive the win as the Yankees themselves didn’t take the lead until the sixth inning, it was a very strong start for him.

The Yankees wouldn’t even rack in a hit until the fourth inning where Miguel Andujar doubled to right. Driving him in to tie the game with a single was Mike Ford, who went on to be the deciding factor in the game. In the sixth inning he’d do it again with another single to left field scoring Mark Payton the speedy outfielder (who shows attributes similar to Brett Gardner). As the Flying Tigers only went on to score one run it wouldn’t hold the Yankees up at all. Mike Ford would end the night with three RBIs (all off of different pitchers) doubling in Mark Payton for insurance sending the score to 3-1 in the eighth. With Ford at second, catcher Santiago Nessy drove him home with a single. To end the five run eighth inning, with Abiatal Avelino and Santiago Nessy on base, Austin Aune homered to right center field giving the Yankees their 7-1 score which would stand as the final.

Despite Jorge Mateo going 0-4 the powerful new lineup stood strong for the Tampa Yankees. In the first two games of the season they’ve scored 16 runs and only given up three. That is also due to the bullpen which is the second strongest part of this team (with the possibility of becoming the strongest). Daniel Camarena earned the win with three innings of work and only one hit. Caleb Frare pitched the last inning and would keep the Flying Tigers hitless. In two games (eight innings) the Tampa Yankees’ bullpen has stayed near perfect only giving up one hit and no walks.

Saturday they take on the Lakeland Flying Tigers for their third game of the four-game series. Chance Adams is set to start for the Yankees in his first full season in Advanced-A Tampa. The right-handed pitcher (originally a reliever) combined between Staten Island, Charleston, and Tampa last season for a 1.78 ERA in 35.1 IP. In those 35.1 IP he had 45 strikeouts and gave up seven earned runs.