Fort Myers 1 at Tampa 7
W: I. Nova (7-11, 4.24); L: O. Sosa (2-1, 4.59)
HR: FTM: D. Santiesteban (5).
It seems like not too long ago, it was the Fort Myers Miracle who were beating up on the Tampa Yankees. Tuesday night, in a game shortened to 8 innings by rain and lightning, it was the Miracle who were victimized.
Danny Santiesteban's solo shot home run in the top of the fifth would be the only tally for First Half West Division Champs. His fifth of the season, Santiesteban's blast went over the left field wall to prevent the Miracle from being shut out.
Tampa, on the other hand, did not have to worry about such things. Luis Nunez lead off the bottom of the first with a single to Edward Ovalle, then stole 2nd base. Eduardo Nunez reached on a fielder's choice as Yancarlos Ortiz fired the ball to Juan Portes at 3rd to take Luis out. Eduardo then stole 2nd. Kevin Smith would take a walk and the pair would steal 3rd and 2nd. Following a line out to Josh Kreuzer, Seth Fortenberry's ground ball to right allowed Nunes and Smith. Fortenberry decided he could run for second, but was caught out just past first base and was taken down on the throw.
In the bottom of the 2nd, Andres Perez doubled. A throwing error by Fort Myers starter Oswaldo Sosa moved Perez to 3rd. After a ground out by Mitch Hillgoss, Jose Gil sacrificed Perez in, giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
They would double that in bottom of the third, with the Nunez boys taking a walk off Sosa. The pair then stole 2nd and 3rd before Smith and Kreuzer were called out on strikes. A single to Fortenberry scored the pair, while Fortenberry moved to 2nd on the throw in from right. Perez then singled to plate Fortenberry. Matthew Williams would replace Sosa at the point, allowing a single to Hillgoss, but Perez was taken out at 3rd to end the inning.
Sosa, who had filled Tyler Robertson's rotation space effectively, would allow 6 runs, 5 earned, on five hits and 3 walks while striking out 3 over 2.2 innings. Williams would go for the next 4.1 innings.
"The Professor" would hit Perez with a pitch in the bottom of the sixth, and Hilligoss would double him in to give the Yankees their seventh run.
Santiesteban would pitch the final out before the game was called for lightning in the area. I still entertain visions of Santiesteban getting a grand slam to put the Miracle on top in the bottom of the eighth inning during the FSL championship game, then coming in to pitch to close out the game in the ninth. Ah...but playoffs are still 28 days way.
For the time present, Santiesteban went 1-for-1 with a walk and a hit by pitch, plus a run and a RBI on the yarder. Garrett Olson would finish up 2-for-3, and Brandon Roberts was 2-for-4. Ortiz would lock up the one hit wonder title, going 1-for-4 at the plate.
Fort Myers will try to get something going Wednesday night at Casa de Steinbreener. The Miracle is reporting that Cole Devries (8-8, 2.97), not Matt Fox, will take the 7:00 PM start against Tampa's Zach McAllister (6-5, 2.01), weather permitting.
Pending Pinstripes Blog
My computer's power supply blew out last night. I expect to be back online later tonight unless things are worse than I feared. I have a mini-feature on Cole Devries in the works that I had hoped to run today as well, but that's being put off for at least another day.