Monday, April 21, 2008

Miracle down Flying Tigers, 6-2

baseball,Fort Myers Miracle

Lakeland 2 at Fort Myers 6

Record 10 - 7

W: J. Manship (3-0, 4.12); L: D. Below (1-2, 5.21); SV: A. Slama (3)
HR: FTM: D. Valencia (3).

It was the bottom of the fifth, and I was just telling Tyler we needed to get some offense going.

"We had 10 hits yesterday," he says. "It was all just one at a time."

"I meant today." We only had 3 hits on the board at the time, and Lakeland had a 2 run lead.

Ryan Strieby had taken a walk in the top of the 3rd, and Jeffrey Kunkel doubled a line drive out to right. A fielding error by Edward Ovalle allowed Strieby to score. Kunkel would go for a triple, and was taken out at 3rd. Cale Iong then tripled off Miracle starter Jeff Manship, out to right. Louis Ott ground out, but Iong came home on the play. Scott Sizemore would single out to left before Brennan Boesch would strike out to retire the side.

Danny Santieseban walked to start out the bottom of the fifth, and Yancarlos Ortiz flew out to right, which led up to the above conversation, with just three Miracle hits on the board.

Brian Dinkelman and Juan Portes both drew walks, when the Tigers decided to pull starter Duane Below and go with reliever Ed Clelland. That gave me a chance to thank Tyler for the autograph and get back to my seat.

Just in time. Danny Valencia got the fourth Miracle hit, singling out to left to bring in Santiesteban. Wilson Ramos kept it going with a life drive out to Jeremy Laster in center field that brought in Dink and Portes. Edward Ovalle would ground into a force out and Rocky Palacios would ground out as well, but the Miracle were on the board and had the lead.

With two outs in the 6th, Brandon Timm would single, but field manager Jeff Smith was taking no chances, turning to reliever Jose Lugo. The outgoing Manship would have given up 2 runs, both earned, on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in 5.2 innings worth of work.

Lugo would get the final out in the sixth and hold the Tigers hitless in the seventh.

Gabriel Benitez would take over the mound from Clelland in the 7th, when Dinkelman walked. Portes flew out, and with Valencia at the plate, Dinkelman would steal 2nd. That's when Valencia connected to take Benitez deep, bringing in two. I'd later hear Sean Fox saying on the Miracle broadcast that is was the longest home run he'd seen out of the Miracle. There was no tape, but that ball went a ways, that is for certain. Ramos almost made the fence as well, flying out on the warning track to Brennan Boesch. That gave the Miracle a nice little cushion to their lead.

Anthony Slama would be called in to "Slama the door" on Lakeland, which he did well in the 8th, allowing only walk to Sizemore.

The Flying Tigers turned to pitcher Brendan Wise in the bottom of the 8th. Following a Whit Robbins fly out, Santiesteban and Yancarlos Ortiz would hit back to back doubles to give the Miracle their sixth run of the night. Wise would intentionally walk Dinkelman to get at Portes, who hit a single to left. Valencia would be called out on strikes, a very controversial call by the umpire, especially as Valencia felt he'd earned a walk. Ramon ground into a force out to end the inning.

Slama would make things a bit interesting in the ninth however, allowing a single to Pedro Cotto, and then throwing the ball past 2nd base on a force attempt that allowed Laster to get on the bag. With one out on the board though, held get Strieby to ground into a double play to end the contest.

Valencia would go 2-for-3 on th night with 1 run and 3 RBIs. Dinkelman would go 2-for-2 with 3 walks and 2 runs. Santiesteban was 1-for-2 with a walk, but also had 2 runs to his credit.

The two teams rematch tomorrow for a 7:05 PM start. The Miracle will have Twins' pitcher Kevin Slowey on the mound on a rehab start. Lakeland will send Johan Nickerson (1-1, 7.30) out to the hill in retaliation.

News Press

Despite home runs by Ozzie Lews and Ramon Santana in Beloit, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers still took a win, 4-3 from the Snappers. Blair Erickson and Charles Nolte would combine to surrender 3 runs in the 6th inning, on 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2. Erickson would be charged with the loss. Santana would go 2-for-3 with 1 run and 1 RBI at the plate, while right fielder Mark Dolenc was 2-for-5. (Boxscore)

The New Britain Rock Cats downed the Trenton Thunder 5-4 in Eastern League play (Boxscore). Former Miracle lefty Kyle Aselton picked up the win in the 12th inning, the second straight time these two teams have played extra innings. Trevor Plouffe, Matt Moses and Erik Lis were each 2-for-5 in the game, Plouffe and Lis with a run each and Moses and Lis with an RBI each. Dustin Martin was 2-for-6 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Ryan Mullins worked six innings on the mound, allowing 3 runs, 1 earned on 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 2.

Triple AAA Rochester would take a big 7-4 win from the Scranton/WB Yankees on Sunday. Darren McDonald would go 3-for-3 at the plate with 3 walks and 1 RBI. Chris Basak was 2-for-4 with 2 runs. Former Miracle catcher Jose Morales picked up 2 RBIs in the contest while Jason Pridie accounted for 2 runs and 3 RBIs on a hit and a walk, going yard in the ninth to give the Red Wings the win (Boxscore). Naples resident Carmen Cali recorded his second win of the season for the Twins farm team, while Bobby Korecky recorded his 4th save of the season.

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