Fort Myers 5 at Dunedin 9
W: N. Starner (1-0, 2.08); L: D. Guerra (7-3, 4.83)
HR: DUN: S. Shoffit (7), C. Patton (6), M. Cabral (1), D. Corrente (1).
Matt Williams may have been named a Midwest All-star, but his 2008 debut for the Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday would not earn him any recommendations as All-Star material. Replacing starter Deolis Guerra in the sixth inning with 2 outs on the board, Williams would give up back-to-back home runs to David Corente and Sean Shoffit, adding 3 to the total of what had been up until then a very close game.
The Miracle got on the board in the bottom of the first when Steve Singlton knocked a line drive out to right to get on base and Edward Ovalle hit a double of Dunedin Blue Jays starter Adrian Martin. Juan Portes would fly out to center before Whit Robbins sacrificed in Singleton.
Despite a triple to Cory Patton in the bottom of the stanza and a walk to Brian Dopirak, Guerra would keep the Jays off the board until the bottom of the second inning when he allowed a home run to Marcos Cabral. It would be the team leading 7th home run allowed by Guerra this season.
The score would stay tied then, until the bottom of the six. Patton would double out to right to lead off. Dopirak would line out and Jesus Gonzalez would fly out before Marcos Cabral singled to plate Patton. That's when Williams would take over.
The Jay were not done in the sixth however, as Luis Sanchez and Adam Calderone hit back-to-back singles to follow up the home runs. Williams would then walk Brad Emaus to load the bags. A passed ball by Wilson Ramos allowed Sachez to score. Corry Patton would be issued a walk before field manager Jeff Smith made his way to the mound with Blair Erickson in tow. Erickson would get Dopirak to ground into a force out to exit the inning.
The Miracle would attempt to battle back with Danny Berg and Eli Tintor both singling in the top of the 7th. Following a ground out to Yancarlos Ortiz that moved the pair, Singleton was hit a sac-fly to center to drive in Berg.
Jose Lugo would take over the mound in the bottom of the 8th and today, we were treated to the bad Jose Lugo. After getting Shoffit out on strikes, he'd walk Sanchez. Calderone would go down on strikes as well, but Lugo would then plunk Emaus with a pitch. Patton would go yard over the right field fence, adding another 3 to the Blue Jays total.
Undaunted, Berg would draw a walk with one out in the top of the 9th. A wild pitch would move him to 2nd. Tintor would strike out, but Yancarlos Ortiz singled his way onto the bags, moving Berg to 3rd. Singleton then doubled in Berg. Ovalle would hit a fly ball single to center to knock in the two runners, but Jay's reliever Paul Phillips would get Juan Portes to pop out to end the game.
Singleton would finish up 2-for-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI. Ovalle would go 2-for-5 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Berg was 1-for-3 with a walk and a pair of runs. Robbins was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Ortiz was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run.
Ramos and Tintor were the one hit wonders of the game, Tintor with a pair of strike outs. Ovalle would strike out twice as well.
Guerra would pick up his 3rd loss of the season, allowing 3 runs, earned, on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out 6 over 5.2 innings.
The Miracle finish up the first half of the season with a 45-24 record, which is also a clubhouse record a well.
Fort Myers hosts Sarasota on Thursday to kick off the second half of the FSL 2008 season. Alex Burnett (5-2, 3.36) will handle the pitching chores against former Miracle southpaw Alex Smit (5-4, 3.60). It's Dog Daze II so bring your pooch to the park as well as Thirsty Thursday with half priced beer. First pitch will be thrown out at 7:05 PM.
Expecting Twins blog
The Minnesota Twins have sent middle infielder Nick Punto to the Lee County Sportsplex on a rehab assignment. He is expected to play in an intersquad scrimmage today with the GCL Twins and will begin a stint with the Fort Myers Miracle on Thursday when they start their three game home stand against the Sarasota Reds. The Twins have stated they want Punto to play in at least three game this time before joining the major league club. That means he would play the entire homestand with the Miracle and fly out to join the Twins in San Diego in time for their series against the Padres.
This is the second rehab stint that Punto has made due to a hamstring injury. He first injured the muscle back in early May and spent close to three weeks on the DL with the injury. He appeared in several extending spring training games over the Memorial day weekend, but in his first game back with the Twins following the rehab stint on May 31, Punto re-injured the muscle while playing on the FieldTurf at the Metrodome.
The setback is the reason the Twins are being more cautious with Punto's rehab stint this time and making sure that his leg gets fully tested in game action.
Former Miracle Matt Tolbert had his cast removed a week ago on his surgically repaired left thumb and reported that is is feeling much better. Tolbert is currently wearing a splint on the thumb, but it is reportedly only for one more week. He could start gripping a bat next Wednesday to begin his rehab work. The target date for Tolbert to return to the Twins line up is still Aug. 1.