Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tigers tear up Miracle pitching

Justin Justice

Fort Myers 7 at Lakeland 9

W: R. Weinhardt (3-1, 1.84); L: O. Sosa (2-2, 5.57); SV: R. Perry (4)
HR: FTM: S. Singleton (4).

The Lakeland Flying Tigers out slugged the Fort Myers Miracle as they feasted on Southwest Florida's pitching, taking a 9-7 win at Joker Marchant Stadium.

At least the bat of reigning FSL offensive player of the week, Michael Bertram, was relatively quite, as he didn't put anything over the fence. He did finish 2-for-5 however, with a double, a run and run batted in.

The Miracle got on the board first however, as Juan Portes took a single from Lakeland starter Duane Below. One out later, Portes would advance to 2nd on a balk. Wilson Ramos then singled him in, giving the Miracle one.

They made it 2 in the top of the 3rd with Steve Singleton putting his 4th home run of the season over the right field wall.

Rookie pitcher Joe Testa took the start and made it through the first two inning with nothing more than a walk to Brennan Boesch. His luck would run out in the third however.

He lead off with a walk to Brandon Timm and gave up a single to Jeff Kunkel. A passed ball by Wilson Ramos advanced the runners. Justin Justice then tripled to bring in the pair. A Louis Ott single plated Justice. Testa then got Bertram and Cale Iorg out on strikes, but allowed a triple to Boesch that drove in Ott. Jeremy Laster also knocked a triple out to center, to send Boesch over the plate. Jordan Lennerton would ground out however, getting Testa out of the inning.

The Miracle Bats were up the task however, as Whit Robbins walked in the top of the 4th, Edward Ovalle singled Robbins to 3rd and Johnny Woodard walked the bags full. A force attempt failed when Ott misfielded the ball, allowing Garrett Olson to reach and Robbins to score. Eli Tintor doubled two more in. The Tigers would take Below off the mound, bringing Ramon Garcia out of the bullpen. Yancarlos Ortiz ground out, plating Olson in the process to put the Miracle up by one. Juan Portes would walk and Singleton would be hit by a pitch to load up the bases again, but Wilson Ramos ground into a double play, retiring the side.

While it's usually 3-strikes, not 3-triples and you're out, in this came, it was the later as Testa came out and Ozzie Sosa went in for the Miracle. Timm tripled off the Venezuelan, but he'd then get Kunkel, Justice and Ott out on strikes to strand him.

Bertram doubled off Sosa in the bottom of the 5th home and Iorg singled him in, tying up the game. Boesch and Laster both ground out before Sosa walked Lennerton. Timm then struck out swinging.

Kunkel would walk to start the bottom of the sixth and advanced to 2nd on a wild pitch. Justice then walked as well. Jeff Smith didn't wait for Sosa to get this walk-fest into full swing, fetching Jose Lugo from the bullpen. But it was the wrong Jose Lugo! Lugo's throwing error allowed Ott to reach on a sac-bunt, for a bases load situation. Bertram singled in Kunkel. After Lugo got Iorg out on strikes. Boesch would ground into a force out that scored Justice. Laster then ground out,sending the Miracle to the plate again.

It was a somewhat wasted exercise as Robbie Weinhardt kept Fort Myers as quiet in the 7th as he had in the sixth.

Jeff Smith would try David Shinskie next. A fielding error by Ortiz allowed Lennerton to reach. Timm would advance him on a ground out, and Kunkel doubled to send Lennerton home, to give the Tigers nine.

The Miracle would try a brief rally in the top of the 9th, with Tintor tripling off Ryan Perry. Ortiz then singled him, but Perry took Portes down on strikes and got Singleton to fly out. Ramos then struck out to end the contest.

Tintor finished up 2-for-3 at the plate with with a walk, a double and a triple, a run and a pair of runs scored. Portes would end u 2-for-4 on the night with walk and arun. Singledon, Ovalle, and Ortiz were all 1-for-4, Sing with the home run, Ovalle with a run, and Ortiz with a pair of RBIs. Ramos ended up 1-for-5 with a RBI.

Robbins was 0-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run, as was Woodard. Olson was 0-for-4 with a run and a RBI.

Sosa took the loss, his second of the season, ending up allowing 3 runs, 2 earned on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. Testa would allow 5 runs on 5 hits and two walks while fanning 4 over three.

The two teams rematch tomorrow with Jonah Nickerson (11-3, 3.66) throwing out the first pitch at 7:00 PM, weather permitting. Alex Burnett (7-5, 4.03) will get the ball for the Miracle.

News Press
Take I-75 North Blog

* Danny Berg was promoted to the New Britain Rock Cats on Monday. Joining him was former Miracle and current Minnesota Twin Matt Tolbert to start his rehab assignment. Tolbert had indicated that he'd be joining the Miracle for their last home stand, but Tropical Storm Fay was one of the factors deciding the change of plans. But the same token, Alexi Casilla was sent to Beloit to rehab. He was activated off the DL Wednesday night, while Brian Bass was outrighted to Rochester to make room for him on the Minnestoa roster.

* The Rock Cats are hosting the Tigers AA affiliate, the Erie Sea Wolves. They lost for the first time in six game, 5-2. Dustin Martin, Danny Valencia, Felix Molina and Brian Dinkelman had one hit each for the Rock Cats while Ryan Roberson, Jeff Frazier and Diek Scram had multi-hit games for the Seas Wolves. Frank Mata took the loss, his first at the AA level.

* The Rock Cats extended their affiliation with Minnesota through 2010. The Twins also acquired minor league outfield Joe Gaetti, the 26-year old son of Minnesota Twins' Hall-of-Famer Gary Gaetti, in a deal with Oakland and assigned him to New Britain. He replaced Brock Peterson on the Rock Cats roster.

* The Rochester Red Wings defeated the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Former Miracle Anthony Swarzak is now 4-0 at the AAA level. Luke Hughes and Trevor Plouffe were both 2-for-4 in the game, Hughes with two runs, Plouffe with one.

* The Beloit Snappers were idle last night. Elizabethton topped Princeton in Appalachia League action. First baseman Jon Waltenbury had a pair of home runs in the game, upping his season total to 10. Dan Osterbrock took the win, his 7th professional victory.

* The Miracle host their annual Charity Golf Classic on Sunday, August 24th at Pelican Preserve. For more information or to register for the Charity Golf Classic, please call Terry Simon at 239-768-4210.

* Picture of Joe Testa and Spencer Steedley are now available in our online Photo Gallery.

* And finally the price gougers fine folks at Yahoo have decided to up their website hosting by $4.00 a month for this site. If it wasn't such a PIA to move, I'd find a cheaper alternative. Instead I've shut down my Everblades site - as I wasn't doing anything with it anyway - and my personal site - another project that fell by wayside. The end result is that Yahaoo will get less, not more, money from me per month.


FunkytownMN said...


Berg probably went up to NB because Joe Gaetti blew out his achilles on his firat New Britain at bat, which was a HR..apparently hurt it running the bases on the dinger.

Dianna said...

Gaetti will fit in just fine with Hank Sanchez, P.K., Drew Thompson et al. He probably doesn't like to sign autographs either.