Vero Beach 2 at Fort Myers 6
W: B. Erickson (1-0, 2.16); L: B. Baker (4-3, 2.52)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (5).
Prior to the game Danny Valencia wanted me to go ask Jim Rantz what flight he was booked on. So I dutifully did this.
"What did you tell him?"
"I was gonna tell them that he's penciled into New Britain's line up tomorrow but due the rising cost of gasoline, you're not longer paying for travel expenses, so he better start hitch hiking."
"No. Tell him he's booked on the bus to Jupiter."
"You mean Spacecoast."
So there you go Danny, you're booked on the bus to where ever.
For the second straight night we had a really good game despite the fact that the B- team was on the field. Rocky Palacios was our first baseman. It was kind of scary.
But the boys got it done for manager Jeff Smith as Juan Portes hit a walk off grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Fort Myers Miracle to a 6-2 win over the Vero Beach Devil Rays.
The Devil Rays got on to the board first with Ryan Royster tripling a fly ball out to center. Nevin Ashley singled to bring in Royster for a one run Rays lead.
Wilson Ramos doubled out to center in the bottom of the inning, but got no further than 3rd on an Eli Tintor single.
Desmond Jennings double off starter Alex Burnett in the top of the 3rd. He moved to 3rd on a sac bunt by John Matuilia, and came home on Ceasar Suarez's ground out, to the put the Rays up by two.
Rays starter Michael Wlodarczyk limited the Miracle to just 2 hits, and struck out 2 over 4 innings. He'd be replaced by Matt Walker for the bottom of the 5th inning.
With 2 outs on the board, Danny Santiesteban singled his way onto base. Allan de San Miguel then tripled out to right to plate Santiesteban, cutting the Rays lead in half. Yangervis Solarte took a walk, and Edward Ovalle would single to drive in Dirty to the tying run.
Burnett worked 5 innings, allowing 2 runs on six hits while striking out 2. He'd give way to Jose Lugo, who struck out 4 over 2 perfect innings. Blair Erickson then made his way to the mound, striking out all three batters he faced in the 8th. He's allow a single to T.J. Hall in the ninth, but the Rays could go no where with it.
Brian Baker would take over from Walker in the 8th, using 2 ground outs and a fly out to retire the side.
Smith would try to get something going in the bottom of the inning by using Brian Dinkelman as a pinch hitter. Dink would get brushed by a the first pitch he faced and was awarded first base, despite the arguments of the D-Rays. De San Miguel moved him on a sac-bunt. Whit Robbins would be brought in to pinch hit for Solarte, and would be intentionally walked. Edward Ovalle - trying for the fence - quickly found himself down 2 strikes and was guarding the plate when he was drilled by Baker. With the bases full, Portes then put a ball over the left field wall. You knew that ball was going yard the minute it left the end of the stick.
The pile up and group hug at the plate was really a nice touch as the Miracle celebrated their second Grand Slam victory in as many days.
The Miracle were held to only 7 hits in the game, as were the Rays, and there were not multi-hit contestants on either team.
Tomorrow is a bull pen start, more or less as Matt Fox (2-1, 4.68) makes his first start of the Year for the Miracle. He will take on Ray's lefty Ryan Morse (2-2, 3.16).
Breeze - Valencia
· Deolis Guerra was granted personal leave and flew home to Venezuela. Jeff Manship said he thought Deolis' Grandmother was seriously ill. Mike Allen was reassigned to the Elizabethton team.
· Someone (Josh maybe) had asked about Ben Petsch's release and the Jim's answer was that is was an numbers thing. "He was a good kid, we just had no where to put him."
· I asked about Paul Kelly and Jim said while he was getting closer he wasn't ready yet. "He has to be able to play three or four games in a row before we can do something with him, and he hasn't done that yet." I mentioned the brace and he said he'd be playing with it on. It's form fitted and designed for use in playing sports.
· When I informed Manship of the answer to Danny's question, he said "So we're playing the All-star game?"
"It appears so," I said. "He wants you to have fun."
"The Midwest League was fun. That stadium this game is at though is awful."
"No it's not, it a cute little..."
"The Locker Room," Cole Devries cuts in.
"The air conditioning wasn't working in the Locker Room," Manny explains. "You just sat there and sweated."
"Oh Jeff," I say. "I can't wait until you go up so you can learn Double-A whining. You're going to be so good at it."
"We are a whinny lot, aren't we?" says Devries, who I really hadn't noticed being too verbal with his complaints. He was also proving that real men CAN wear pink and get away with it, something the GCL boys don't believe.
· Tomorrow is the card set give away. The FSL top prospect set is also available in the gift shop. Manship and Ramos are the two top prospects in the set.
"They don't think I'm a top prospect," Valencia says.
"I think you're a top prospect," I tell him. But then, I say that to all the boys.
If you need to order either set, e-mail Justin at email@example.com. Sets are $7.00 each.
· Someone had asked about the Yahoo feed for the website, thinking they'd booted me off the network. Yahoo is upgrading the platform of their 360 service to make it more integrated, by which I take it to mean they want to be more like myspace.com. And of course, Yahoo can't do anything without breaking the whole system first. So that's the deal, I'm not the only one whose blog feed is effected.