Sunday, May 25, 2008

Late inning fireworks finish off Miracle

Fort Myers Miracle

Palm Beach 6 at Fort Myers 3

W: D. Bilardello (1-0, 0.00); L: J. Lugo (1-2, 6.00); SV: J. Dew (3)
HR: PBC: T. Cruz (4).

Jose Lugo has been having a bit of an odd season with the Fort Myers Miracle. Some games he's been lights out and some games he's been...well...

This was on of those other games.

James Rapopart greeted Lugo on the mound with ground ball single. Donovan Solano bunt into a force out. Either way, there was a man on base when Tony Cruz put one of the right center field wall for his 4th home run of the season.

The two points would be the turning point in a game that had been pretty even up to that point.

Alex Burnett generally throws in the upper 80's but can touch 91. He's got a fairly good change up that he uses to advantage. In the top of the 2nd inning, he allowed singles to Andrew Brown and Daryl Jones, before the change up got Luke Gorsett to ground into a double play. Daniel Descalso and A.J. Van Slyke both drew walks to load the bags. Nick Derba then doubled to clear the bases and give the Cards a three run lead.

Yangervis Solarte ground out to start the 3rd inning, but Yancarlos Ortiz singled his way onto base. Brian Dinkelman would get hit by a pitch, and Juan Portes' line drive to right filled up the bases. Slugger Danny Valencia would be called out on strikes, but Whit Robbins took a walk to force in a run. Edward Ovalle would be the hero this time, singling out to left to bring in Dinkelman and Portes and tie up the game.

And the game would stay tied through the next four innings. Valencia, who'd gotten on base on a force out, got all the way to 3rd in the bottom of the 5th, but Ovalle ground into a force out, leaving him stranded. A pair of singles to Wilson Ramos and Danny Berg where wasted in the bottom of the 6th when Ortiz ground into a double play.

Meanwhile, Burnett allowed only a double in the fifth.

In the top of the 9th, Rapaport drew walk from Lugo, then stole 2nd. Solano then doubled him into give the Cardinals yet another run.

Three straight ground outs in the 9th would end it for the Miracle.

Portes was 2-for-4 with 1 run on the game, the only player with a multi-hit game. The Miracle took 9 strikes outs from three different Palm Beach pitchers over the course of the contest with starter Shaun Garceau fanning 5 over six innings.

Alex Burnett would pick up only two strike outs, but with the exception of a couple mistakes in the third inning, pitched a smart game, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks for 3 earned runs over seven innings for a quality start.

Wear your whites tomorrow on White Out Sunday as lefty Tyler Robertson (2-2, 3.04) puts the team in pinstripes and pits them against the Cardinals' Brad Furnish (3-2, 3.35). Game time is 1:05 PM. You might want to bring a white towel as well, to protect your back end from the red-hot stadium seats.

News Press
FMNP: Valencia
Future Redbirds (Friday)

Notes: Tyler's fondness for the pinstripes as to do with the fact that the blue uniform doesn't fit him right and when he goes into his wind up everything comes untucked. We saw some of that Saturday night with Alex as well.

Props to Gary Sharp has been doing a really great job with the public address announcing. I was watching him Friday night during the pre-game ceremonies and not only was he down on the field with the wireless getting everything taken care of, he was walking up and down and reading from a script as well. Some of the PA announcer we've had in the past couldn't walk and talk at the same time.

Kudos also to the "new" Miss A-Miracle. Yes, we miss Mike, but the new Missy is every energetic and does a great job entertaining the crowd.

Danny Santiesteban was pulled from the game Friday night and benched for not knowing how many outs there were. This is a change from last year, when the players evidently faced no discipline for forgetting to tag up. Meanwhile, we here at agree that the scoreboard is a disaster and you can't rely on it most of the time, but we do know how to count to three.

Tyler, Manny and Cole tried the Gatorama ribs tonight. Tyler said it was good gator. Manny said they were so hot his mouth was on fire for a couple innings. Gatorama ribs are available over on the party deck above the right field berm.

Two winners split a $400+ launch-a-ball jackpot following the game.

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