Fort Myers 8 at Dunedin 7
W: A. Burnett (7-4, 3.89); L: R. Boone (2-2, 5.94); SV: A. Slama (21)
HR: FTM: W. Ramos (11), D. Santiesteban (4).
Despite holding a 3 run lead going into the 9th inning, the Fort Myers Miracle were fortunate enough to be able to hold on long enough to get a win over the Dunedin Blue Jays.
If they are going to have a successful playoff run, they are going to have to find way to win without the bullpen.
Juan Portes singled his way onto base in the top of the 2nd, then stole 2nd and used a wild pitch by Randy Boone to go to 3rd. Eli Tintor then singled, plating Portes. After a pop out to Garrett Olson, Danny Santiesteban's bat went BOOM, and sent his 4th home run ball of the year over the left field wall to add two more to the total.
Whit Robbins singled in the top of the 3rd and Wilson Ramos homered - his 11th of the year - to give the Miracle a 5-0 lead. After a ground out to Johnny Woodard, Portes doubled and Tintor singled. Garrett Olson's ground out moved the pair, and a Santiesteban fly ball single brought them home.
With two outs on the board in the top of the 4th, Brad Emaus doubled then came home on a Cory Patton single, putting one on the board for Dunedin.
They added to it in the bottom of the 4th with Anthony Hatch taking a walk and Marcos Cabral getting hit by an Alex Burnett pitch. Following a fly out to Matthew Liuzza, Adam Calderone singled to plate Hatch. Luis Sanches would go down on strikes before former Twin Shannon Stewart, playing on a rehab assignment, singled to plate Cabral and Calderone.
Jose Mijares would take over for Burnett in the bottom of the sixth, and following a pair of ground outs, allowed a double to Calderone and a single to Sanchez to add one more to the Jays total.
In the top of the 8th, Tintor doubled, moved to 3rd on Olson's sac bunt, and was sacrificed in by Santiesteban.
Anthony Slama has been struggling a bit of late, and Monday night exemplified that. He'd walk Calderon and, after a ground out to Sanchez, allowed a pair of singles to Emanuele and Emaus which loaded the bags. Patton's sac fly plated Calderone and a Brian Dopirak single drove in Emanuele. Hatch would go down on strikes though with the Jays still down by one and the the tying run on 3rd.
Santiestban was 2-for-2 with a walk and five (5!) RBIs. Tintor was 3-for-4 with 3 runs and a RBI, while Ramos was 3-for-5 with a run and 2 RBIs. Robbins and Portes were both 2-for-4, Robbins with a walk and a run and Portes with a pair of runs. Steve Singleton was the one hit wonder, going 1-for-5 in the contest.
The rubber match of the series is Tueday evening at Knology Park. Fort Myers will pit Deolis Guerra (10-5, 4.56) against Dunedin's Reidier Gonzalez (8-3, 3.58) for the 7:00 PM start.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: The Miracle had a rough week, winning just two of seven games, including a four-game losing stretch. The string of losses dropped Fort Myers into a losing record and fourth place in the FSL West, 7 1/2 games behind division-leading Dunedin.
WHO'S HOT, WHO'S NOT: SP Cole Devries has been a strikeout machine. In his last 11 innings, the University of Minnesota product has 13 strikeouts. ... SS Yancarlos Ortiz has just five hits in his last 29 plate appearances for a .172 average.
PLAYER TO WATCH: 2B Steven Singleton has been hitting well in recent games. The University of San Diego product has a home run and eight RBIs in his last 10 games while batting .333. ... SS Yancarlos Ortiz is struggling with just five hits in his last 29 at-bats for a .172 clip.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK: One of the bright spots of a dismal week for the Miracle was 1B Whit Robbins. In a 9-7 home win over St. Lucie on July 20, the Georgia Tech product had four RBIs, collecting three with one swing as he homered to right field in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Miracle a 5-4 lead. In the seventh, Robbins walked with the bases loaded for his fourth RBI.