Monday, April 14, 2008

Dunedin's four run 8th, crushes Miracle

baseball,Fort Myers Miracle

Dunedin 9 at Fort Myers 3

Record: 5 - 6

The Dunedin Blue Jays pounded out 13 hits resulting in 9 runs to take a commanding win the final game of the series Sunday during Mascot Mania Day at Hammond Stadium.

Sean Shoffit greeted Miracle starter Cole Devries with a line drive single to left. Chris Emanuele and Travis Snider followed that up with singles of their own. J.P. Arencibia ground into a double play, but Shoffit got the run in to give Dunedin an early lead.

The home town team took it back though in bottom of the inning, despite a strong looking lead off by lefty Brett Cecil, who was making a rehab start. Rene Tosoni doubled with 1 out and Danny Valencia put one over the right center field wall to give the Miracle a lead. That would be about all they would get out of Cecil however who only gave up one hit over the next two innings.

Devries kept the Jays off the board for the next two innings despite giving up back-to-back walks in the top of the 2nd. The top of the fourth would be a different story, with Paul Franko getting hit a pitch to start off the stanza and Jonathan Diaz going yard over the right field wall to give the lead back to Dunedin.

Snider would single in the top of the 5th, and following a fly out to J.P. Arencibia, Cory Patton would single to put Snider on 3rd. Franko's line drive to right would score Snider, making it 4-2 Jays.

Even so the game was still within reach, with Juan Portes and Danny Santiesteban smacking back-to-back singles and Yancarlos Ortiz bunting to fill up the bases. A sac-fly by Rene Tosoni brought in Portes, but Valencia's ground out ended the scoring threat one shy of the tying run.

The Jays would take the run back with Shoffit taking a walk in the top of the 6th. Danny Graves, a minor league free agent signee, would come into relieve Devries, surrendering a single to Emanuele which allowed Shoffit past the plate.

Fort Myers looked for, but could find, no offense in the bottom of the sixth and seventh.

The top of the eighth turned nasty however. Following a ground out to Jonathan Diaz, Luis Sanchez singled then sold 2nd. Shoffit's ground out pushed him to 3rd, and an Emanuele ground ball single would push him over the plate. Snider would single to put runners at the corners, which prompted Miracle field manager Jeff Smith to bring in Matt Fox. Arencibia took one of Foxy's pitches over the right field wall though, the wind which had been a help in the past couple of games suddenly becoming an enemy.

With nine on the board for the visitors, it looked bad for the home town boys, who went three up, three down in the bottom of the 8th. The Jays would then turn to Chad Blackwell to finish off the game, which he did quickly, sending the Fort Myers fans home unhappy.

Devries would finish up allowing 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 6. Graves would be charged for the inherited runs, giving up 3 on 4 hits and 1 walk in 2 innings.

Ortiz was the only Miracle batter with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 at the bottom of the order.

The Miracle rest on Monday and start a 3-game series against the Clearwater Threshers on Tuesday. Jeff Manship will take to the mound against the defending FSL champions. The Threshers are 4-7 on the young season, last in the West Division, while the Miracle are in a three-way tie for 3rd place.

News Press
NP Notebook: Graves

Notes: Graves was added to the roster Saturday. The 34-year old notched a career-high 41 saves with Cincinnati in 2004, when he was picked for his second All-Star appearance. Graves holds the Cincinnati club record with 172 career saves.

The Minnesota Twins signed the former University of Miami product to a Minor League deal on March 30. Graves pitched last season for the Long Island Ducks, leading the independent Atlantic League with 33 saves.

The former fourth-round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in 1994, was born in Saigon, Vietnam. He is the first and only Vietnam-born player in the history of the Major Leagues.

Miracle reliever Rob Delaney has been named Twins Minor League Player of the week.

Delaney, 23, pitched six scoreless innings last week and went 3-for-3 in his save opportunities. The St. John’s University graduate is 0-1 with a 0.00 ERA. He has not allowed an earned run or walked a batter in eight innings this season. Opponents are hitting .179 against him. Delaney compiled 35 saves in 53 games last year, playing for Fort Myers and low Class A Beloit, Wis.

Graphs: Since I was looking for Adrian Martin, who is evidenlty on Dunedin's disabled list, I somehow managed to overlook the fact that Blackwell was on the roster and missed getting is autograph yet again. It's becoming a habit.

I also missed Matt Fox who was up at the autograph table on the concourse on Friday. I actually had pulled the 8 x 10 I needed to have him sign on Thursday night, and managed to forget to take it to the park with me on Friday. Back to remedial autographing 101 for me...

Dunedin does not return until June 2nd. T.J. reports that Travis Snider is very nice and gives a good graph, so if you missed him this time around be sure to get him then, as he's unlikely to stay in the FSL after the All-Star game.

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