Saturday, September 1, 2007

Miracle defeat Jays, stretch win streak to 3 games

Errol Simonitsch

Fort Myers 7 at Dunedin 4

Record 37 - 30

W: E. Simonitsch (5-0, 4.17); L: R. Ray (3-3, 4.86)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (12).

If anyone on the Miracle deserves a call up to AAA to end the season, it is without doubt Errol Simonitsch, sho seems to have worked past his injury and has pitched quite well over has past several starts.

Simo allowed 6 Jays hits and walked 1 but allowed only 1 run in 7 innings of work while striking out 7. A hit batter and 2 singles allowed Jesus Gonzalez to score to give the Jays their first run of the game and by then, the Miracle had put up a lead that Dunedin found tough to overcome.

A Brian Dinkelman single, a Steve Tolleson walk and a Dustin Martin single combined to get Dinkelman across the plate and the Miracle on the scoreboard in the first.

Dink and Erik Lis would also score runs in the 3rd with the pair hitting singles and then having Martin join them on base after being hit by a pitch. Juan Portes line drive brought the two initial runners in, but a Johnny Woodard strike out and a Dwyane White pop out left 2 men stranded.

If Portes had not made a case for a promotion to AA next season, he certainly did so in the 7th when he homered in Martin to give the Miracle a 5 run lead before Dunedin solved Simonitsch.

Toby Gardenhire singled and stoled second in the eighth inning, coming home on a Tolleson line drive to tack one more on to the visitors lead.

A Martin double off Connor Falkenbach and a Dwayne White single finished off the scoring.

Winston Marquez, a big southpaw who played the entire GCL season as starter, made a late season FSL appearance for the Miracle in the 8th. He allowed only a Kyle Phillips single in that inning, but a Luke Hetherington double greeted him in the 9th as the Jays attempted a rally.

He would walk Brian Jeroloman and Chris Gutierrez single to load the bases before Kevin Boles sent Rob Delaney out to the mound, Hetherington would score on Carlo Cotas' ground out a Jeroloman would be plated by a Anthony Hatch sac-fly. An Eric Nielsen single brought in the last of the inherited runners. A Jacob Butler fly out would strand 2 to end the game.

The two teams meet again tonight with Jay Manship (7-5, 3.41) taking to the mound against Adrian Martin.

The Miracle remain entrenched in fourth place in the division, but the win knocks the Blue Jays down into second place after the Threshers split a pair with the Flying Tigers last night.


Playoffs: The Elizabethton Twins won 5-1 over the Danville Braves to pick up their 2nd Appalachian League Championship in the last three years. Starter Michael McCardell (1-0), who began the season with the GCL Twins, gave up five hits and a walk while striking out seven over six scoreless innings for the win. The 22-year-old right-hander went 5-1 with a 2.00 ERA in eight outings for the Twins. He won his last four regular-season decisions and carried a no-hitter through six frames on Sunday.

The AA New Britain Rock Cats kept their playoff hopes alive with a 10-5 win over the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox). In AAA Rochester, the Red Wings playoff bid took a turn for the worse as they lost 10-7 to Buffalo, falling a game and a half behind in the wild card race.

The GCL Yankees locked up the GCL Championship, 2-games-to-1 over the GCL Dodgers.

In the FSL East division, the St. Lucie Mets locked up the second half division title and will face off against the Brevard County Manatees in the first week of September in search of a FSL crown.

One-hit: Former Miracle starter Scott Baker took a perfect game into the ninth inning on Friday night at the Metrodome and was then just two outs from a no-hitter before Mike Sweeney jammed the second pitch he saw into short left-center field to break up Baker's chance at immortality. Baker fanned nine and threw 111 pitches -- 81 for strikes -- in the 5-0, Twins victory, which lasted just two hours and 16 minutes. It was his first career nine-inning shutout. Baker had the crowd on its feet, cheering for the first time with two outs in the seventh inning, and it pretty much stayed that way for the rest of his performance.

Baker also saw the birth of his second son, Easton, who was born in Shreveport, La., late last Friday night. Easton was born five weeks premature, and Baker has been traveling back and forth to Louisiana due to the birth, his last start, and his bullpen sessions.

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