Producing one run at a time takes patience but the first place Clearwater Threshers put on a clinic today on how to manufacture runs in downing the second place Tampa Yankees 7-5 in Northern Division action in the Florida State League.
Four of the seven Thresher runs were scored on at bats without the benefit of a hit or error thanks to three sacrifice flies by Cord Sandberg, Kyle Martin and Mitch Walding and a fielder’s choice out on another at bat by Martin late in the game.
Martin leads the FSL in RBIs with 23 and Walding is second with 22.
Situational hitting is one of the reasons why the Threshers are leading the Florida State League with an 18-9 record. Going into today’s game the Threshers had hit four sacrifice flies in 26 games. They now have hit seven sac. flies after today’s action.
Hitting with runners in scoring position is how teams win games. But it is not always long balls or base hits that make the difference.
Against the Yankees, sacrifice fly balls to center by Sandberg in the third and two more to right by Martin and Walding in the fifth inning accounted for three RBI’s.
Later in the eighth, Martin hit the ball a hard up the middle which resulted in a force out at second but the seventh and final run scored on the fielder’s choice to give Martin his second RBI of the game.
At the major league level the sacrifice fly RBI record is five in one game and three in one inning which was aided by an error on one of the RBI’s.
The Threshers scored on three sacrifice fly RBI’s in today’s game and two of them were in one inning.
The first place Thresher’s now lead the second place Yankees in the FSL North by two games. The second of the three-game series at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa takes place tomorrow night with Ranfi Casimiro on the mound for the Threshers going for his fourth win of the season.