Despite a strong pitching performance for Ethan Lindow in his second start with Clearwater, the Threshers fell, 2-1, to the Florida Fire Frogs in ten innings at Spectrum Field on Sunday afternoon. The loss secured the sweep for the Fire Frogs and put the Philadelphia Phillies’ record against the club to 5-10.
Lindow gave the Threshers (61-65, 25-35) an early boost by working around three baserunners through the first two frames. The southpaw allowed two-out singles to Jordan Rodgers and Garrison Schwartz in the second before retiring Rusber Estrada to keep the game scoreless.
The success continued for Lindow over the next three frames, as the left-hander struck out four over the stretch and allowed just three hits to hold the Fire Frogs (50-76, 25-35) scoreless.
The outing for Lindow has given the southpaw 10 consecutive scoreless innings over two starts with Clearwater. The Locust Grove, Ga. native has not allowed a run since giving up one in the first against the Dunedin Blue Jays on August 12.
The 20-year old left-hander opened the season with Lakewood and went 5-2 with a 2.66 ERA in 13 starts and 10 relief appearances. He posted a 3.63 ERA as a reliever prior to being placed into the Lakewood starting rotation and then went 3-1, 2.10 in his 13 starts with the BlueClaws. In a total of 105 2/3 innings this season, Lindow has struck out 113 batters, while walking just 20. He has not issued a walk in his 11 innings with Clearwater and has not walked a batter in his last 34 innings of work, including his time with Lakewood.
The Phillies drafted Lindow out of Locust Grove High School in the fifth round of the 2017 Draft.
Clearwater’s offense got going in the fifth to give their starter a lead. With one away, Florida starter Brooks Wilson issued walks to Rafael Marchan and Madison Stokes to put runners on first and second. Raul Rivas followed with a single through the right side to plate Marchan and give Clearwater a 1-0 lead. Dalton Guthrie grounded into a double-play a batter later to end the threat for Wilson.
After Lindow exited for Austin Ross in the seventh, Florida created another late rally. Jordan Rodgers grounded out to open the frame before Garrison Schwartz doubled to right. Estrada followed with his fourth hit of the series to score Schwartz and even the game at one. Ross induced an inning ending double play off the bat of Shean Michel to keep the game tied heading into the eighth.
The game would remain tied into extras, where the Fire Frogs struck against reliever Tyler Carr (LP, 3-3). With Rodgers as the runner at second, Schwartz put a bunt down and reached on an error that moved Schwartz to third. Estrada followed the play with a second RBI on a double to left that scored the go-ahead run and gave the road team a 2-1.
Clearwater had a chance to rally against Daysbel Hernandez (SV, 4) in the bottom of the 10th. With Stokes the runner at second Rivas put down a bunt to move the runner to third. Guthrie walked to put runners at the corners, but Hernandez retired the next two batters to close out the frame and secure the sweep for the Fire Frogs.
The Threshers finished 5-10 against the Atlanta Braves’ affiliate in 2019 and 2-7 against the club at Spectrum Field. Clearwater owns a 33-36 record against teams from the Florida State League North.
After the league wide off day on Monday, Clearwater will travel to take on the St. Lucie Mets for a three-game set beginning Tuesday night. It is yet to be determined who will start for either team in the series opener.