Sarasota 4 at Fort Myers 3
W: S. Carroll (4-1, 4.94); L: J. Lugo (1-3, 5.06); SV: R. Geronimo (8)
HR: FTM: D. Berg (3).
Matt Williams likes to pitch to the outside of the plate and they call a tighter strike zone in the Florida State League. This is not a combination for success as the young reliever gave up two runs in the fifth, tying the game. The Sarasota Reds would go on to defeat the Fort Myers Miracle, 4-3.
Miracle ace Tyler Robertson was making his first start after missing a brief time on the disable list with shoulder tendinitis. He described it more a sore bicep but in any case, he was held to a lower pitch count than usual and threw only the first 4 innings. Even so, he limited the Reds to just 3 hits and walked only 1 while fanning 5.
Eli Tintor singled his way onto base in the bottom of the 3rd. Danny Lehmann then lay down a ground ball bunt that would have made former Miracle field manager Jose Marzan proud. Yancarlos Ortiz followed this up with his own bunt to advance the pair. Nick Punto ground out to first, plating Tintor to put he Miracle on the board.
In the bottom of the fourth, Danny Berg would knock his 3rd home run of the year over the left field wall.
Williams would take over for Robertson in the top of the fifth and walked Eddy Rodriguez. Jake Kahaulelio would move Rodriguez to 2nd with a sac bunt. Jose Castro then hit a line drive out to center, scoring the runner. Williams would get Chris Heisey out on strikes, before Juan Francisco doubled to the left field line to score Castro.
Iris was a little concerned that they didn't go for a play at the plate, but Lehmann really wasn't in position to make one and a throwing error would have cost them another run. Sometimes you just have to suck it up. Drew Stubbs would go down swinging to retire the side.
Sarasota right hander Scott Carroll worked 7 innings to pick up his 4th save of the season. He'd allow 5 hits and fan seven over the time.
After his shaky fifth, Williams worked the next two innings, using a combination of fly outs and ground outs to get Sarasota to sit down and keeping the game tied.
Field Manager Jeff Smith would then send Jose Lugo to the bullpen and once again, it was the not the good Jose Lugo. Heisey would walk before Francisco doubled off the Dominican reliever to put the Reds on top. Stubbs would single to move Francisco to 3rd, and after Carson Kainer when down on strikes, Jason Louwsma would reach on a fielder's choice as the Lugo caught the ball and sent it back to Lehmann to make the play at home, saving the run. Catcher Jacob Long would ground into a force out to retire the side.
With two outs on the board in the bottom of the 8th, Nick Punto would draw a walk from Phil Valliquette, then steal 2nd. Wilson Ramos, pinch hitting for Steve Singleton would ground out however, leaving him stranded.
With the loss of Rob Delaney to Double A New Britain, Smith is looking more to Blair Erickson to take over the closer role.
After getting Rodriguez out on strikes, Erickson would allow Kahaulelio to single out to center. Castro would ground into a force out and would be tripled in by Heisey before Erickson could get Francisco to strike out.
Juan Portes would get hit by a pitch in the bottom of the ninth, after a fly out to Berg, Garrett Olson would reach on a fielding error by Francisco that put Portes at 3rd. Yangervis Solarte then singled to score Portes. Reds closer Ramon Geronimo would then get Whit Robbins and Danny Lehmann to fly out, ending the game.
Solarte finished up 2-for-4 in the game. Punto was 1-for-3 with a walk. Tintor was 1-for-3 with a run and a pair of strike outs. Lehmann was the one hit wonder, finishing up 1-for-4.
The two teams rematch Saturday evening with Matt Fox (3-1, 3.80) taking to the mound against major leaguer Josh Fogg (0-0, 4.35) who is pitching on a rehab assignment from Cincinnati.
Water Day Photos
Kudos to Sharpie for being able to say "Kahaulelio". But dude, that Square Bob Spongepants song was TOO loud. You hurt my ears!
Iris wanted to know Saturday's promotion was. "It's Cat night," I tell her. "You get a free kitten when you walk through the gate."
"NO IT'S NOT!" she says, but she had to think about it first.
In truth, the first 750 people through the gate get a free snazzy looking Miracle cap courtesy of North Trail RV. Myself, I'd rather have the free kitten.