In every facet of the game, Clearwater was better than the Dunedin Blue Jays on Saturday night, as the Threshers cruised to a 9-2 win and took a two game lead over the D-Jays in the Florida State League's North Division.
Dunedin (9-8) pitched two starters in the game, with a Monday off day messing up the rest periods in the rotation, and both Andrew Liebel (1-3) and Ryan Page were hit hard.
The Threshers got three runs off Liebel in his five innings of work, scoring two in the second on a John Suomi RBI single and a Derrick Mitchell sacrifice fly. An RBI double by Steve Susdorf made it 3-0.
Clearwater made it 5-0 in the sixth off Page when Suomi scored thanks to a Jon Del Campo fielding error, followed by a D'Arby Myers RBI single.
Dunedin got a run in the bottom of the inning thanks to a Travis d'Arnaud RBI groundout, but Clearwater shut the door on any thoughts of a long-term rally by Dunedin with four runs in the eighth inning, with the big hit being a two-run single from Matt Rizzotti.
Clearwater (11-6) got another solid pitching performance from Austin Hyatt (3-1), who beat Dunedin for the second time on the road this season, going six strong innings and giving up only two hits while striking out seven.
Dunedin committed three errors in the game and could only manage three hits, with both runs coming across thanks to RBI groundouts.
The two teams will play the back end of this home-and-home series in Clearwater on Sunday evening at 6 p.m. as Dunedin begins a seven game road stretch. After the Monday off day, they will head for three games in Tampa against the Yankees before another three game series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers begins that Friday.