Monday, September 8, 2008

Cubs put Miracle in 2-0 hole in best-of-five series

Whit Robbins

Daytona 9 at Fort Myers 1

W: J. Jackson (1-0, 0.00); L: C. Devries (1-1, 4.22)
HR: DAY: B. Lalli (1).

The Daytona Cubs wasted no time sending the Fort Myers Miracle packing, taking five runs off Cole Devries in the 3rd inning in route to a 9-1 win, and a 2-0 game lead, in the best of five Florida State League Championship series.

The Miracle will have to win three straight at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Dayonta Beach in order to win their first Championship since their relocation back to Fort Myers.

Ryan Harvey tripled in the top of the 3rd and scored on a Jonathan Mota ground out. Darwin Barney doubled and Tony Thomas took a walk. James Adduci singled to drive in Barney, and following a ground out to Ty Wright that plated Thomas, Blake Lalli put one over the right center field fence, scoring two to make it 5-0 Cubs.

Joe Testa would replace Devries in the top of the 5th. After getting Thomas to ground out and taking Adduci down on strikes, he'd give up a walk to Wright. Lalli singled, moving Wright to 2nd, and Russ Carter's line drive brought the runner home for the Cubs's sixth of the evening.

Ozzie Sosa allowed a double to Harvey in the top of the sixth, who moved ot 3rd on a Mota ground out. Barney would line out before Thomas singled Harvey in for Daytona's seventh tally.

Matt Williams would come in for the top of te 8th, striking out Steve Clevenger, and getting Harvey to pop out. But Mota and Barney took back-to-back singles, and a throwing error by Danny Santiesteban in right allowed Mota to score making it 8-0.

Jay Jackson allowed only 4 hits to Fort Myers over 5.2 innings. Relievers Jay Ruhlman and Michael Cooper held the Miracle to only a pair of walks in the next 1.1 innings, although Cooper gave up a couple of wild pitches that moved Edward Ovalle all the way to 3rd before he'd find a pair of strikes outs to retire the Fort Myers.

Todd Blackford replaced Cooper in the 8th and walked Steve Singleton. Rene Tosoni would go down on strikes, but passed ball by Clevenger moved Sing to 2nd. Wilson Ramos ground out advanced the runner to 3rd and Whit Robbins singled him in to keep the Miracle from being shut out. It was too little a rally, too late.

Wright singled off Williams in the 9th and two outs later, allowed a single to Clevenger. He'd hit Harvey with a pitch to load the bags, and then hit Mota as well, forcing in Wright to finish off the Cubs' scoring.

The Miracle would get nothing off Dustin Sasser in the ninth, with Juan Portes flying out to end the contest.

Singleton finished off the game 1-for-3 with a walk and a run, while Rene Tosoni, Wilson Ramos, Robins and Yancarlos Ortiz were all 1-for-4.

Unless the Miracle can find some road mojo of their own, the Cubs can sweep the series tomorrow night in Daytona. Game time is 7:05 PM and the contest can be heard live on WMYR AM-1410 and WCNZ AM-1660 with the Voice of the Miracle, Sean Fox calling all the play-by-play action.

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