Dave Larson’s Taz Devils (11-13) effectively put an end to the Beefers (14-14) second half apriations Friday morning, Sept. 25, winning three in a row before succumbing in the finale in a series at the Devils Yosemite Park in Apopka. The Devils won two close games to start the series then outslugged the Beefers 10-8 in Game Three. The Beefers salvaged the finale behind Frankie Montas (3-0) to avoid a sweep.
The Tazzies outscored the Beefers 23-20 in the series, hitting a robust .259 for the four games, hitting six HRs and totaling 13 extra base hits. The Beefers belted nine homers and had 16 extra base hits, but left 14 men on base in the first two games, bot losses.
For the Devils, Mookie Betts was 8-14, .571 with four runs and a home run and Rafael Devers was 5-11. .455, with a double, triple, and a three run HR. Beefer Christian Vazquez remained hot, hitting a pair of home runs in Game Three, giving him five home runs in the Beefers last eight games.
Game 1 Taz Devils 3, Beefers 2
Tazzie 3b Rafael Devers hit a game-winning RBI single in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie. Beefer manager Rod Caborn decided to leave Yusmeiro Petit in the game to face Devils with Xavier Bogaerts on second and two out, a managerial choice that backfired when Devers singled Bogaert to give the Devils a 3-2 victory.
The Beefs got off to a rough start when starter Shane Beiber wild-pitched runs home in each of the first two innings. The Beefs left 10 men on base in the loss while Devils starter Gerritt Cole pitched into the seventh, allowing only a two-run homer by Brett Gardner, who was 4-4 in the game.
Beef 2-7-1 L- Shane Bieber 5-6. HR- Brett Gardener #2.
Devils 3-8-0 W- Steve Cishek 2-3. Sv Liam Hendricks #14.
Game 2 Taz Devils 6, Beefers 3
Devils pinch-hitter Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer in a five-run Tazzie rally in the sixth inning to lift the Devils to a 6-3 win in Game Two. The Beefers took a 3-1 lead in the fourth, including a two-run HR by Ramon Laureano, but that was all the Bovines could manage. The Devils five-run rally included singles by Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and an RBI single by Jose Altuve before Chapman greeted lefty Tim Hill with his three-run shot, the time in two series Hill surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced. Devils relievers Taylor Rogers and Liam Hendricks shut down the Beefs on only one hit over the final two innings to preserve the win for starter Charlie Morton, who sent seven innings, giving up only four hits and three unearned runs.
Beef 3-5-1 L- Max Scherzer 1-6. HR- Ramon Laureano #14.
Devils 6-6-1 W- Steve Cishek 2-3. Sv Liam Hendricks #15. HR Matt Chapman #2.
Game 3 Taz Devils 10, Beefers 8
In a wild back-and-forth battle, the Devils prevailed 10-8 in a game where the lead changed seven times.
Down 8-7 in the seventh inning, Devils CF Max Kepler doubled home two runs off Seth Lugo and, two batters later, Mookie Betts singled Kepler home for another run to put the Devils ahead 10-8. Reliever Taylor Rogers retired the final six batters for the Devils to earn his first save of 2020.
Earlier, Beefer leadoff hitter Marcus Semien opened the game with a HR off Devils starter Clayton Kershaw. The Devils answered back with a two-run HR by Cody Bellinger in the bottom of the first and then took a 5-2 in the third on a two-run HR by Rafael Devils. The Beefs rebounded with three in the fourth on back-to-back HRs by Matt Olson and Christian Vazquez, tying the game at 5-5. Both teams continued swapping leads until the seventh, when Kepler’s two-run double game the Devils the lead for good.
Beef 8-10-1 L- Diego Castillo 0-1. HR- M. Semien #11, Matt Olson #12, Chrisitan Vazquez #12.
Devils 10-14-1 W- Ryan Buchter 1-0. Sv Taylor Rogers #1. HR C.Bellinger #11, J. Altuve #5, Rafael Devers #11.
Game 4 Beefers 7, Taz Devils 4
Both teams continued the hard hitting, each scoring three runs in the first. Kris Bryant hitting a two-run HR for the Beefs and Mookie Betts hitting a leadoff HR off Beef starter Frankie Montas in the bottom of the first. The Beefs kept pecking away at Devils starter Jack Flaherty, building up a 7-3 lead, with Luke Voit and Brandon Lowe both homering. The Devils Max Kepler homered in the 6th to make it 7-4, but the Devils ran out of gas, with three Beefer relievers keeping the Tazzies off the scoreboard over the final three innings.
Beefer Bryce Harper hit three doubles for the Beefs, going 3-5
Beef 7-11-1 W- Frankie Montas 3-0. Sv Emilio Pagan #12. HR K. Bryant #12, Brandon Lowe #2, Luke Voit #3.
Devils 4-8-0 L- Jack Flaherty 4-5. HR Max Kepler #10.