Fort Myers 2 at Vero Beach 5
W: C. Tiffany (1-0, 2.25); L: T. Robertson (5-3, 2.72); SV: N. Frontz (19)
The Miracle dropped game one to the Vero Beach Rays as Tyler Robertson gave up four runs in the 2nd inning suffer just his 3rd loss of the season. The big lefty has beens suffering some control issues due to an arm ailment, and that seemed to be the problem Monday night.
Matthew Fields reached in the bottom of the second on a throwing error by shortstop Yancarlos Ortiz. Ryan Royster then singled and Nevin Ashely walked to load the bases. Neil Walton ground into a force out which scored Fields, and a wild pitch by Robertson put him on second base. Robertson got Jair De La Rosa out on strikes before Joey Callendar doubled to drive in two. Garrett Groce then singled to drive in Callender before John Matulia would ground out to end the inning.
Danny Lehman and Yancarlos Ortiz both took walks to lead off the the top of the 3rd. Following a fly out to Yangervis Solarte, Steve Singleton would sacrifice in Lehmann for the first Miracle run.
In the bottom of the 3rd Ceasr Suarez singled and stole 2nd. A throwing error by Lehmann put him on 3rd. He'd come in on Field's ground out. Ashley took another walk, one out later and stole 2nd, but Walton lined out to end the inning.
Solarte hit a grounder to short to get on base in the top of the 5th. Singleton then doubled him in to make it 5-2 Rays.
Jose Lugo worked 3 inning in relief of Robertson, who only lasted four, giving up 5 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 1. Danny Santiesteban was the surprise closer of the contest, striking out 2 in his first appearance on the mound.
Solarte went 2-for-5 at the plate for the Miracle with a run. Edward Ovalle and Danny Berg each had a walk and single, while Lehmann finished up 1-for-3 with a run and run scored. Singleton was 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and 2 RBIs.
Southpaw Ryan Morse (2-4, 3.32) will make the start for the Rays Tuesday against Miracle righty Matt Fox (4-3, 3.65). First pitch is due out at 7:00 PM. Fort Myers returns home on Friday to face the Jupiter Hammerheads.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Fort Myers won the first five games of the week before dropping a pair. The strong week pulled the Miracle within 2 1/2 games of FSL West-leading Dunedin. Fort Myers is in second place, a half game ahead of third-place Lakeland.
WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT: DH Edward Ovalle is hitting at a pretty good clip lately. In the past 10 games the Dominican native has 11 hits in 34 at-bats for a .324 average. ... 2B Yangervis Solarte is having a tough time in recent games. In his past 36 plate appearances he only has four hits.
PLAYER TO WATCH: SP Tyler Robertson threw five hitless innings in a 4-0 home win July 2. The southpaw from California struck out five and walked two as he raised his record to 5-1 with a 2.73 ERA.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: SP Deolis Guerra limited Tampa to three hits July 1 in a 4-0 Miracle win at Fort Myers. The native of Venezuela, acquired by Minnesota in the Johan Santana deal, recorded his first complete-game shutout and struck out four.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I felt like I was locating the ball well," Robertson told MiLB.com. "[Tampa is] aggressive. They like to swing early and put the ball in play. I got ahead in the count and was able to put guys away. I lost a couple of games early on. I think I was over-thinking, trying to do too much. I looked at some video from last year, noticed some stuff in my mechanics, and cleaned that up pretty good."
Sarasota's Drew Stubbs was named the Player of the Week for the Florida State League. Stubbs used the short right field in Casa de Steinbrenner to hit a pair of home runs. They went along with his triple-a-game streak earlier in the week against the Dunedin Blue Jays and his .429 (9-21) batting average. The 23-year-old has had 26 stolen bases this season, only one during the week of June 30 through July 6.
The Atlanta Braves have sold the contract of Barron Collier High School star Chris Resop to the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese central league. The right-hander had been sent to Triple A Richmond to be converted to a starter. He had a 5.89 ERA in 18 appearances out of the Braves Bullpen. The Naples, Florida, resident was a fourth-round draft pick of the Florida Marlins in the 2001 First-year Player Draft.
Former Miracle Denard Span extended his career-high hitting streak to eight games Sunday afternoon. He has hit .400 (6-for-15) with five runs scored and two RBI since his recall to Minnesota from Triple-A Rochester. Another Miracle alumni, Alexi Casilla, tied his career-long long hit-streak, hitting safely in 13 straight, dating back to June 20.
Twins catcher Joe Mauer led all catchers in voting and will start for the AL squad in next week's All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. He’ll be joined on the team by teammates Justin Morneau, who was named to the team via the players' ballot, and Joe Nathan, who was selected by manager Terry Francona. Mauer and Morneau, the "M & M Boys", both played for the Miracle during their minor league career.
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