Saturday, September 6, 2008

Cubs score late to take early lead in series

Matt Fox

Daytona 5 at Fort Myers 1

W: J. Latham (1-0, 0.00); L: C. Gutierrez (0-1, 13.50)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (2).

Matt Fox pitched an absolutely incredible game for six innings, scattering 3 hits and a pair of walks and striking out an astounding 10 batters. But unfortunately, the bullpen could not match his performance.

Carlos Gutierrez would get Carlos Canzier to strike out swinging to start his shift in the seventh, but Steve Clevenger, Ryan Harvey and Jonathan Mota all took singles off the Miami native, scoring Clevenger to tie up the contest. A throwing error on a pick off attempt would put Harvey over the plate, putting the Cubs on top. After Darwin Barney ground out, Tony Thomas tripled off the sink-ball throwing rookie, bringing Mota home. Jeff Smith would get Jose Lugo out of the bullpen at that point, and the Dominican hurler walked James Adduci before getting Ty Wright to ground into a force out, retiring the Cubs.

Rene Tosoni would launch a solo shot home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth for the Miracle. Despite out hitting the Cubs through the first six innings, it would be all that they would manage to get over the plate off the Daytona team.

Lugo would work a solid 8th inning, but despite a single to Juan Portes, the Fort Myers Miracle could not come up with a Miracle to even up the score. David Shinskie replaced Lugo in the top of the 9th. Harvey would go down on strikes, but Mota and Barney both singled. Thomas' sack bunt scored Mota and moved Barney to 2nd. Adduci would single which, combined with a throwing error by Yancarlos Ortiz, scored Barney making it 5-1 Cubs.

Whit Robbins would single off closer Brian Schlitter in the 9th, but Wilson Ramos, Edward Ovalle and Johnny Woodard all went down on strikes to end the contest in the Cubbies' favor.

Tosoni would go 2-for-3 at the plate with walk, a run and a RBI but he could not provide all the offense by himself. Portes was 2-for-4 with Steve Singleton, Ramos and Robbins all chipping in with singles and finishing off the contest 1-for-4 as one hit wonders. Ovalle, Woodard and Eli Tintor all drew walks, but were otherwise "0-fer" - the first two being 0-for-3 with Tint going 0-for-2.

Not the sort of thing that the Miracle would like to see. They will attempt to bounce back against the hard hitting Cubs Sunday evening at 7:05 for game two of the Florida State League Finals. Cole Devries (1-0, 0.00) will get the nod to take the mound for the Miracle, while the Cubs send up right-hander Jay Jackson (0-0, 0.00) out to counter.

Sunday's contest is the last game at The Bill, as the series reverts to Jackie Robinson Stadium for Monday's match up.


* When the Marlins faced the Cubs in post season play in 2003, one of the radio stations in the area held a ceremony in which a stuffed "Cub" was impaled on the bill of the 50 foot Marlin out in front of Grey's Taxidermy off I-90. Anyone know where we can acquire a big bill fish at so we can impale a cub of our own at The Bill?

* Daytona has a speedway, but Lee and Collier Counties have four Racetrac locations where you can go to get free general admission tickets to the Hammond Stadium for the playoff games on Sunday. Don't forget to plan a pit stop at Racetrac on your way to the Bill Sunday night!

Cubs shut out Cards to validate their bus ticket to Hammond Stadium

Danny Lehmann

Daytona 6 at Palm Beach 0

W: H. Chen (1-0, 0.00); L: M. Diapoules (0-1, 7.20)
HR: None.

When the Daytona Cubs were in town earlier in the year for the regular season, they bought with them the reputation of being quite the road team. Evidently the travel mojo is still in effect as they blanked the Palm Beach Cardinals 6-0 at Roger Dean Stadium, to earn themselves a trip to Southwest Florida and the waiting Fort Myers Miracle.

Hung-Wen Chen allowed only 3 hits over six innings - the Cards only got five over nine - while the Cubs Offense did the rest.

Tony Thomas singled to lead off the first inning, then moved to 2nd on Jim Adduci's ground out. Ty Wright scored Thomas, and Blake Lalli doubled in Wright to give the Cubbies a 2 run lead in the the first inning.

They'd increase it in the top of the 5th when Thomas took a walk with one out on the board then came in on an Adduci double. A fielding error by Cards first baseman Matt Arburr allowed Wright to reach and Adduci to score, to give Daytona a four run lead.

Thomas, Adduci and Wright struck again in the top of the 7th to combine for 2 more runs for a total of six for Daytona.

Keeping that trio in check will be the first thing the Miracle need to accomplish Saturday night as they host game one of the best-of-five Florida State League championship series.

You've waited long enough Southwest Florida! Be there as the Miracle take on the Cubs in an attempt to bring a baseball championship back to to Southwest Floria. It's been 13 years since the Miracle were in a FSL Championship match. They were defeated by the Cubs then. It's time to defeat the Cubs now!

First pitch is 7:05 PM at Hammond stadium.


* Daytona has a speedway, but Lee and Collier Counties have four Racetrac locations where you can go to get free general admission tickets to the Hammond Stadium for the playoff games on Saturday and Sunday. Don't forget to plan a pit stop at Racetrac on your way to the Bill Saturday and Sunday night!

* The Twins traded Brian Bass to Baltimore for a player to be named later. Bass (3-4, 4.87) spent most of the season in the Twins' bullpen but was sent down to Rochester in August. The Twins are expected to receive an A-ball prospect in return (LEN3).

Friday, September 5, 2008

Miracle still waiting

Daytona Cubs

Palm Beach 5 at Daytona 4

W: S. Garceau (1-0, 2.70); L: M. Mateo (0-1, 2.45); SV: P. Parise (1)
HR: None.

The come-back Cubs fell one short at Jackie Robinson Stadium, as the Palm Beach Cardinals forced game three of the Eastern Division finals.

Antonio DeJesus singled to lead off the top of the first inning and Peter Kozma followed suite. Steve Hill would ground into a double play that allowed DeJesus to score, putting the Cards on the board.

Hill would reach on a fielding error in the top of the 4th, and Tyler Henley singled him to 2nd. After a fly out to Matthew Arburr, Charles Kingrey doubled in Hill. Nick Derba would go down on strikes, but Mike Foli singled driving in Henley and Kingrey. A wild pitch by Cubs starter Marcos Mateo advanced the runner, and a Oliver Marmol singled brought in Foli to make it 5-0 Cards. DeJesus would take a walk before the Cubs brought in Andrew Cashner to stop of the bleeding, and he'd take Kozma out on strikes for the 3rd out.

Daytona would get two in the bottom of the fifth as Jonathan Mota lead off with a walk. Darwin Barney singled before Tony Thomas was taken out on strikes. James Adduci singled in Mota and Ty Wright sacrificed in Barney for the host team.

Barney would start the Cubbies rally in the bottom of the 9th with a pop out, but Thomas took a walk. Adduci ground out but Wright doubled to score Thomas. The Cards would get Pete Parise on the mound, who allowed a single to Marquz Smith to score Wright. With the tying run on base however, Russ Canzier would go down on strikes, ending the contest in the Cards favor.

The series now reverts to Roger Dean Stadium for a 7:05 PM start on Friday. The winner of that contest will face the Miracle at Hammond Stadium on Saturday night for a 7:05 PM game.


* Less then 600 fans showed up for a weekday game between the Marlins and the Braves on Wednesay. The unofficial tally was 589 although 11,211 tickets were announced as being sold for the game. The Fish won the game 5-3.

* RaceTrac has acquired tickets to all the potential Miracle playoff games and are distributing them now, at no cost to their customers. General admission tickets are available at the four RaceTrac Southwest Florida locations. Tickets obtained at RaceTrac can be upgraded to a box seat for only $2.00 at the Miracle’s Hammond Stadium offices from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday or at the box office the nights of the game.

* The Miracle will host game one and two of the FSL Finals on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 7:05 pm.

* Former Miracle Adam Harben had not been playing for the Cubs during their playoff run as he is on the D.L.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Miracle sweep way to West Division Championship

Alex Burnett

Dunedin 1 at Fort Myers 3

W: A. Burnett (1-0, 0.00); L: R. Gonzalez (0-1, 3.00); SV: A. Slama (2)
HR: None.

The Fort Myers Miracle swept the Dunedin Blue Jays 2-game to none to become the 2008 West Division Champions of the Florida State League Wednesday night at Hammond Stadium.

Alex Burnett pitched what may well have been one of the best games of his career, limiting the Jays to only 2 hits and 3 walks over six innings while striking out 3.

The Miracle got on the board in the bottom of the second, with Whit Robbin doubling off Reider Gonzalez to start off. Edward Ovalle would go down on strikes, but Woodard singled to drive in Robbins. Following an Eli Tintor fly out, Woodard would steal 2nd base. Yancarlos Ortiz would draw a walk, and a wild pitch moved Woodard to 3rd. Juan Portes doubled to bring in Woodard and put Ortiz at 3rd, but Steve Singleton would ground out to end the inning.

Nathan Starner would replace Gonzalez in the bottom of the 7th for the Jays, and Ortiz would greet him with a single. He'd then steal second. Both Portes and Singleton would go down on strikes, but Rene Tosoni drew a walk, with a wild pitch advancing Ortiz to 3rd. Chad Blackwell would then trot out to the mound to try to hold the Miracle in check, but Wilson Ramos took a single off him to drive in Ortiz for the 3rd Miracle run.

Blair Erickson replaced Burnett in the top of the 7th. Jesus Gonzalez would reach on a throwing error by Portes in the top of the 8th, then move to 2nd as the ball went into the dugout. Adam Calderone singled Gonzalez in for the lone Dunedin run, as Luis Sanchez would ground into a double play, and Chris Emanuele would go down swinging.

Anthony Slama walked David Cooper in the 9th and allowed a single to Cory Patton, but with one out already on the board, he'd strike out Matt Liuzza and get Anthony Hatch to hit into a ground out to end the game.

Everyone except Rene Tosoni had a single for the Miracle, although T-Bone would draw a walk to get on base.

The Miracle will now wait on the outcome of the East Division series. In the conclusion of Tuesday's rain suspended game, the Daytona Cubs would pull out a 10-0 win courtesy of a six-run 8th inning. The series now shifts to Daytona for game two on Thursday and game three, if necessary, on Friday.

The East Division has home field advantage for the series, so the Miracle will host the first two games of the best-of-five championship series.

As with the Wednesday's game, free general admission tickets can be acquired at Lee and Collier County Racetrac locations. They tickets may be upgraded to a box seat for an additional $2.00 at the gate.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Miracle win in Dunedin, return home on Wednesday

Rene Tosoni

Fort Myers 2 at Dunedin 1

W: C. Devries (1-0, 0.00); L: B. Mills (0-1, 2.57); SV: A. Slama (1)
HR: FTM: R. Tosoni (1). DUN: M. Liuzza (1).

For the first time in Fort Myers Miracle playoff history, the Miracle took a win against the Dunedin Blue Jays - on the road.

In 2003 and 2006, the Miracle won one against the Jays, but in each year, it was within the friendly confines of Hammond Stadium. The Miracle will still need to do that, at least once, to progress to the best of five Florida State League finals round.

Juan Portes opened things up in the first with a single. Following a pop out by Steve Singleton, Rene Tosoni took a Brad Mills pitch over the right field wall to give the Miracle two.

Cole Devries would do the rest, scattering five hits and a pair of walks over 6.2 innings while fanning 3.

The Jays would not get a man past second until the bottom of the fifth, when Chris Emanuele made it to 3rd with two men out, but Brad Emaus flew out to send the Jays back on defense.

Carlos Gutierrez would work the next 1.1 innings, allowing only 1 hit and strikeing out 2 to bring the Miracle to the bottom of the ninth.

They would turn to closer Anthony Slama to slam the door on the Jays, but Matthew Liuzza had other plans, putting one over the right field wall to put the Jays on the board, ending the shut out bid. Anthony Hatch would single before Marcos Cabral went down on strikes. Emanuele then singled, moving Hatch to second, and putting the tying runner in scoring position with only one out on the board. But Slama would induce Luis Sanchez to hit into a double play, ending the contest.

The bus ride will be a little bit nicer for the Miracle as they come home to Hammond, where they will face the Jays on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary) to determine the Western Divsion Champion.

Alex Burnett (8-6, 3.76) will get the nod on the mound against Dunedin’s Ray Gonzalez (12-4, 3.14).


* Tosoni finished off the night 2-for-2 with a pair of walks to go with his yarder. Whit Robbins was 2-for-4 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Aside from Portes, who was 1-for-4 on the night with a run, Wilson Ramos and Eli Tintor hit one single each for the Miracle.

* The Jays swept their playoff series against the Miracle in 2000, and won, 2-games-to-1 in 2003 and 2006.

* General Admission Tickets to Wednesday's playoff game are available free at Lee and Collier county Racetracs. Tickets can be upgraded to a box seat for just $2.00.

* Game one between the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Daytona Cubs was suspended due to rain with the Cards leading 4-0 at the top of the fifth inning. It will be resumed tomorrow in West Palm Beach. The series will then shift over to Daytona for game two on Thursday (Cubs.

* According to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the Cincinnati Reds have not committed to playing in either the FSL or the GCL for the 2009 season. 2009 will be their last year in Ed Smith Stadium, they will be moving to Goodyear, Arizona, after the taxpayers of Sarasota County voted down funding to renovate their 20-year old Spring Training facilities. That throws in a new glitch into the already complicated FSL Divisional problem, which started when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays partnered with Ripken Baseball to purchase the former FSL Dodgers franchise, moving it to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season.

* Matt Tolbert and Jose Mijares were the only two former Miracle players to receive September call ups to the major league Twins. The other five players added to the Twins were infielder Matt Macri, pitchers Bobby Korecky and Phil Humber, outfielder Jason Pridie and catcher Ryan Jorgensen.

* The Miracle were selected to receive the Florida State League’s Municipality Award Tuesday. The award is given each season to the best city or county operated Sports Turf Crew. It’s the ninth time since 1990 that Hammond Stadium crew manager Keith Blasingim's staff has won the award, voted on by field managers, pitching coaches and umpires.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

E-Twins repeat as Appy League Champions

Jon Waltenbury

Pulaski 0 at Elizabethton 7

W: D. Osterbrock (1-0, 0.00); L: B. Mohr (0-1, 40.50)
HR: ELI: J. Waltenbury (1).

Game of Friday, 29 August, 2008

Dan Osterbrock gave up 9 hits, but no runs and struck out 11 over 7 inning to lead the Elizabethton Twins in a blanking of the Pulaski Mariners, 7-0. With the win, the Twins sweep the best of three series, 2-game to none, to repeat as Appalachian League Champions.

A Nick Romero single and a Jon Waltenbury home run gave the E-Twins a lead in the bottom of the first. Waltenbury would crank a fly ball over the right center field wall. It was his first home run of the playoffs, but the former GCL slugger had 10 in regular season play.

Angel Morales and Jeff Lanning both singled to lead off the bottom of the second. Danny Rams took a walk to load the bags. James Beresford would go down on strikes, but Dominic De La Osa sent a grounder out to left, scoring two. Romero would single to drive in Rams. Pulaski would call for a pitching change at that point, bringing in Stephen Benney to replace starter Brooks Mohr. Waltenbury's grounder to center drove in De La Osa before Evan Bigley would ground into a double play, ending the inning.

Pulaski would keep the E-Twins off the board for the next five innings. For Pulaski, their best scoring chance came in the top of the sixth when Juan Fuentes singled with one out on the board. Kris Sanchez would fly out, but Jose Rivero took a double off Osterbrock, putting men at second and third. Osterbrock would take Deybis Benitez down on strikes however, to keep the Mariners off the board.

Thom Wright would work the 8th inning, allowing a single to Mario Martinez, then advancing him on a wild pitch. Fuentes would go down on strikes however, and Sanchez and Rivero both ground out to send the E-Twins up to bat for what would prove to be the final time.

Phillip Roy would be on the mound for the Mariners, and he walked Morales and Jeff Lanning to start off. Rams would strike out, but Beresford drew a walk to load the bags. Pulaski quickly got Blake Nation out of the bullpen, but unleashed a wild pitch, scoring Morales. He'd then hit De La Osa with a pitch before getting Romero to ground into a double play, ending the inning.

Steve Blevins, a call up for the 2008 version of the GCL Twins would make short work of the next three batters in the Mariner's line up to give the E-Twins the Championship.

Waltenbury would finish the game 3-for-3 with a walk, a run and 3 RBIs. Romero would go 2-for-5 in the contest with a run and a run scored. De La Osa, Morales, and Lanning were all 1-for-3 at the plate, De La Osa with a run and 2 RBIs, Morales with a walk and a pair of runs, and Lanning with a walk and a run.

Mike Harrington, 1-for-4 at the plate did not factor into the scoring, becoming the one hit wonder of the game, while Rams, who was 0-for-3 with a walk, also chipped in with a run.



THE YEAR IN REVIEW: The Twins finished the year with the circuit's best record at 41-25 and completed a two-game sweep of Pulaski to claim the league championship for the second straight season and third time in the last four years.

WHAT WENT RIGHT: Where to begin? 1B Jonathan Waltenbury led the league in total bases and extra-base hits with 37. OFs Angel Morales and Evan Bigley led the league in homers with 15 and 14, respectively, and both hit over .300. As a team, the Twins led the league with a .274 average, 88 home runs, 142 doubles and 418 runs. On the mound, Elizabethton had three of the top four starters in innings, and LHP Daniel Osterbrock took home Pitcher of the Year honors after going 7-2 with a 3.00 ERA and a league-leading 104 strikeouts. Osterbrock pitched the Twins to the title with seven shutout innings in Game 2 against Pulaski, a 7-0 win.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Elizabethton couldn't match last season's 50-18 record, possibly because the Twins finished eighth in the league in team ERA at 4.37. Plus, they stole a league-worst 24 bases while being caught 19 times.

DYNASTY: The Twins rolled to their second consecutive title and third in four years behind their slugging offense and solid pitching. Elizabethton jumped to a 4-0 lead through two innings in Game 1 and held on for a 7-4 win in Pulaski. The Twins got off to an even better start in Game 2, rocking Mariners starter Brooks Mohr for six runs in 1 1/3 innings en route to a 7-0 clincher.

* The GCL PHillies would take their series against the Nationals to 3-games before going on to win the GCL Title ( Congratulations to the GCL Phillies.

* According to an article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune the Cincinnati Reds have not committed to playing in either the FSL or the GCL for the 2009 season. 2009 will be their last year in Ed Smith Stadium, they will be moving to Goodyear, Arizona, after the taxpayers of Sarasota County voted down funding to renovate their 20-year old Spring Training facilities. That throws in a new glitch into the already complicated FSL Divisional problem, which started when the Tampa Bay Devil Rays partnered with Ripken baseball to purchase the former FSL Dodgers franchise, moving it to Port Charlotte for the 2009 season. It is unclear if Port Charlotte will be participating in the GCL, as they use two short season teams, but they would certainly be a nice edition to the league as the trip to Charlotte County is substantially shorter than the one to Sarasota.

* The Fort Myers Miracle begin their quest for a FSL Title Tuesday night in Dunedin against the Blue Jays. They are the last of the Twins affiliated teams still playing as Beloit, AA New Britain and AAA Rochester all ended their seasons on Monday.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cats, Wings end seasons on a winning note

Toby Gardenhire

Binghamton 1 at New Britain 3

W: K. Aselton (8-6, 4.24); L: M. Antonini (1-3, 3.74); SV: R. Delaney (5)
HR: None.

The New Britain Rock Cats finished up their 2008 regular season with a win over the Binghamtom Mets, 3-1 at New Britain Stadium. Former Miracle Kyle Aselton picked up is eighth AA win while Rob Delaney recorded his 5th AA save.

Aselton and Binghamton's Michael Antonini worked four scoreless innings, engaging in a pitchers duel for the earlier part of the game. Toby Gardenhire would end that when he singled on a ground ball to first, then moved to 3rd, one out later, on Rocky Palacios' line drive to right. Brandon Roberts would ground into a force out that nabbed Palacios at 2nd, but Gardenhire crossed the plate for the first Rock Cats run.

Jose Mijares would take over in the sixth for Aselton, who left the game having given up only 3 hits and a walk while striking out 9. MiJares would allow a double to Fernando Martinez in to sixth, but struck out Shawn Bowman and Mike Carp to keep the B-Mets off the board.

Dustin Martin knocked a line drive to left with 2 outs on the board in the bottom of the sixth. A wild pitch by Antonini moved him to second. Danny Berg's line drive to center sent the former Mets' prospect home to give the Rock Cats two.

Jonathan Malo would single off Mija in the top of the 7th with one out on the board. Mijares then walked Salomaon Manriquez. After a fly out to Peeter Ramos, Emmanuel Garcia singled a ground ball out to right that deflected off Gardenhire at first, scoring Malo for the lone B-Mets tally. Armando Gabino would replace Mijares at that point, getting Jose Coronado to fly out to retire the side.

Casey Hoorelbeke replaced Antonini for the bottom of the 7th, allowing a single to Felix Molina and a walk to Palacios. Roberts' bunt singled advanced the pair. Brian Dinkelman ground into a force out which took Molina out at home, but Matt Tolbert followed that up with a line drive that brought in Palacios, making the score 3-1 New Britain.

Delaney would walk two and allow a single in the top of the 9th, but got Martinez to fly out with the bases loaded to end the contest.

Molina finished up the game 2-for-3 with a walk, while Gardenhire was 2-for-4 with a run. Roberts ended the game 1-for-3 at the plate with a RBI, while Palacios, who was also 1-for-3, added a walk and a run.

Tolbert, Martin and Berg were all 1-for-4 in the contest, Tolbert and Berg with a RBI each, and Martin with a run.

New Britain finished their season with a 64-77 record, fifth in the six team North Division, having won their last 3 and 7 of their last 10.

Rock Cats/OSC

Rochester 9 at Buffalo 6

W: D. Graves (4-6, 6.30); L: B. Slocum (3-7, 4.85)
HR: BUF: T. Crowe (5), C. Gimenez (3). ROC: G. Jones (23), J. Pridie (13), M. Macri (11).

Danny Graves picked up his fourth AAA win of the season for the Rochester Red Wings who downed the Buffalo Bisons, 9-6 at Frontier Field to end their 2008 season on a winning note.

Former Miracle Garrett Jones hit a 3 run home-run in the ninth inning, his 23rd of the year, to propel the Wings to victory over the Cleveland farm team. Jason Pridie and Matt Macri hit solo shot home runs; Pridie's 13 of the year came in the 2nd inning while Macri's 11th yard ball came in the 8th inning.

Howie Clark was 3-for-4 at the plate, as was Jones, Clark with a pair of runs, and Jones with one run and 5 RBIs.

The win gives the Wings a 74-70 Record for the season, 3rd place in the North Division, 14 games behind the wildcard Pawtucket Red Sox.


Burlington 7 at Beloit 3

W: J. Augustine (4-2, 3.77); L: S. Hunt (1-4, 5.46)
HR: BUR: C. Robinson (17), K. Martin (9).

Shooter Hunt gave up 4 runs, all earned, on 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out only one to suffer his fourth loss at the Low A level. The highly touted prospect lasted only 2 innings before giving way to Henry Reyes.

The playoff bound Burlington Bees topped Beloit 7-3, taking 3 more runs Reyes on 5 hits and a walk over the next five innings. Reyes would strike five during his time on the mound.

Chris Cates was 2-for-4 at the plate but did not factor into the scoring. Juan Richardson and Allan de San Miguel were 1-for-3 each at the plate, Richardson with a run and a run scored, and Dirty with a pair of RBIs. Greg Yersich, playing at 1st, was 1-for-4 in the contest with a run, while Ramon Santana was 0-for-4 at the plate, but picked up a run after he reached on a fielding error.

The Snappers end their season with a 71-67 overall record, and were five games behind Cedar Rapids for the league's wild card spot.

A number of players from the Snappers will be attending Fall Instructional League as they look to make he jump for Low to High A in 2009 including Reyes, Hunt and Richardson, plus Midwest league MVP Ben Revere. Snapper's field manager (and former Miracle catcher) Nelson Prada, who guided the Snappers to a .500 second half, will manage the four week fall league at the Lee County Sportscomplex.


Outfielder Dustin Martin and infielders Danny Valencia and Steve Tolleson will join pitchers Jeff Manship, Rob Delaney, Tim Lahey and Anthony Slama on the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League. Rochester Red Wings field manager Stan Cliburn will manage the Twins affiliated Desert Dogs who open their season Tuesday, October 7th, against the Mesa Solar Sox.

Yankees, rain disappoint Miracle faithful in final game of 2008

Tampa Yankees

Tampa 6 at Fort Myers 5

W: R. Semerano (4-1, 5.09); L: J. Lugo (2-6, 4.04); SV: J. Schmidt (16)
HR: TAM: L. Nunez (3).

It took Jose Lugo a total of two pitches to lose the final game of the regular season for the playoff bound Fort Myers Miracle. There is some speculation that the Miracle have been playing the cards close, and that they are ready to turn it on in the playoffs, but there should be a matter of pride in winning the final game of the season in front of the home town crowd.

Matt Williams took the start for the Miracle, and it didn't take long for Tampa to find their way onto base. After getting Matt Cusick out on strikes, The Professor gave up a single to Luis Nunez. Kevin Smith reached on a fielding error by Juan Portes. Josh Kreuzer struck out swinging, but Seth Fortenberry doubled to drive in the pair. Fortenberry would try to a triple, but was taken down at 3rd base. The damage was done however.

The Miracle took one back in the bottom of the inning. Portes singled and stole 2nd. Steve Singleton's outfield fly moved Portes to 3rd and he'd come home on a Rene Tosoni ground out.

Jesse Hoover would replace Michael Solback in the bottom of the 3rd for Tampa, and after getting Eli Tintor to fly out allowed a single to Garrett Olson, who then stole 2nd. Portes singled in Olson, tying up the game. Sing drew a walk before Tosoni would go down on strikes for the second out. Wilson Ramos then singled to drive in Portes putting the Miracle on top.

Eddie Ovalle would take a talk in the top of the 4th, then steal 2nd. Johnny Woodard would fly out, and Tintor ground out. Olson and Portes hit back-to-back singles that plated Ovalle and a Singleton line drive brought in Olson to pad the lead.

Matt Williams would work four innings, allowing two runs, neither of which were earned, on 3 hits while striking out 3. Alex Burnett worked the fifth and Carlos Gutierrez the six, each allowing only one hit to the Yankees. Danny Santiesteban took the seventh and would return for the eighth.

Mitch Hilligoss doubled and moved to 3rd on Ryan Baker's ground out. Tim Battle took a walk. Looking to protect the Miracle's 3-run lead, Jeff Smith called for a pitching change bringing in Lugo who promptly hit Cusick with a pitch to load the bags. Nunez then took the first pitch he saw deep over the left field fence for a grand slam.

Rain started to interfere with the game that had been played in high winds shortly there after. The Miracle would never make it to the bottom of the 9th before a torential downpour from Hurricane Gustov finished the contest and cut short any thoughts of a ninth inning rally.

The Twins take Monday off and travel to Dunedin on Tuesday for game one of the South Divsion Championship round.

Pending Pinstripes Blog

There is a van leaving for Dunedin from the Target on Santa Barbara in the Cape Tuesday at 2 PM. Space is very limited. If you want to be on it, you need to be there early. Iris is organizing the trip up to Dunedin. Bring enough money to play for your ticket in, concessions and a portion of the vehicle's fuel expense.

Danny Valencia put two over the fence for two runs and five RBIs for the New Britain Rock Cats who defeated the Binghamton Mets 9-6 in New Britain Stadium. Former Miracle Yohan Pino picked up the win, Brian Dinkelman was 2-for-5 at the plate with 2 runs and a pair of RBIs. Danny Berg was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs for the Cats as well.

The Rochester Red Wings downed the Buffalo Bisons 5-4 at Frontier Field. Trevor Plouffe was 3-for-5 at the plate with a RBI, while former Miracle catcher Jeff Christy was 2-for-2 with a walk and a run. Anthony Swarzak allowed 3 runs, one earned, on seven hits while fanning two over seven innings, but would leave with the no decision. Julio DePaula would pick up the win in the 9th inning.

The Beloit Snappers slipped past the Burlington Bees 4-3 at Pohlman Field. Mike Allen took the win for the Snaps who saw Estarlin De Los Santos, Mark Dolenc and Juan Richardson each hit two in the contest. Former Miracle Yangervis Solarte was 1-for-3 at the plate with a run and 2 RBIs.

Are you a fan? Check out the player fan forums at Talk-Sports. You can leave messages, post pictures and links and enjoy Videos of your favorite Miracle players.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Yankees provide fireworks on a Soggy Saturday Night

Andres Perez

Tampa 10 at Fort Myers 2

W: H. Sanchez (1-1, 3.38); L: D. Guerra (11-9, 5.47)
HR: None.

The Fort Myers Miracle left the park with 11 hits, but just couldn't get them strung together for runs, falling 10-2 to the Tampa Yankees.

The game would suffer a nearly 2 hour delay after a brief, but heavy, rain shower soaked the field before it could be tarped, turning 3rd base into a muddy mess that required extensive reconditioning.

Deolis Guerra continued to demonstrate his inconsistency. After a good outing last time, he was back to his old tricks before the home town audience. Seth Fortenberry singled, then moved to 2nd when Guerra unleashed a wild pitch. Andres Perez's fly out sent Fortenberry to 3rd, and Tommy Baldridge single brought him home to put the Yankees on the board to open the contest.

Fortenberry walked in the top of the 4th, and Perez doubled him in. A line drive single by Baldridge sent Perez home before Guerra would take Jose Gil down on strikes. Chris Kunda singled, which prompted field manager Jeff Smith to get Joe Testa out of the bullpen. Matthew Cusick singled off Testa, scoring Baldridge and Luis Nunez's grounder to left filled up the bags. Testa then got Kevin Smith to ground out, but it scored Kunda, making it 5-0 Tampa.

The Miracle took one back in the bottom of the stanza. Danny Santiesteban took a walk with one out on the board. Wilson Ramos ground into a force out. Johnny Woodard took a walk, putting Ramos on second, and he'd come home on Edward Ovalle's line drive single to left.

Testa would work the next two innings, giving up nothing else and striking out one. Dave Shinskie took over for the seventh.

Shinskie gave up back to back singles to Luis Nunez and Kevin Smith. Nunez would try to steal home, but it didn't happen as Lehmann was on the job. Josh Kreuzer singled to drive in Kevin Smith. Seth Fortenberry and Andres Perez both claimed singled off Shinskie, which drove in Kreuzer. Baldridge's line drive filled the bases. Gil would reach when Shinskie mis-threw the ball, and Lehmann could not get a glove on it. Fortenberry scored on the play while a Chris Kunda single brought in Baldridge. Matthew Curisck finally ground into a double play to end the inning. Well...the fans wanted fire works!

Shinskie would surrender 5 runs, 3 earned on seven hits in one innings worth of work.

Eddie Ovalle would be hit by a pitch in the 8th, advance on Garrett Olson's line drive single, and come home on a Juan Portes grounder, but it was the only run the Miracle could manage in the late going. And with a huge hole to climb out of, it wasn't enough.

Blair Erickson and Ozzie Sosa worked an inning each, giving up a hit each, Sosa allowing a pair of walks while Erickson struck out two.

Johnny Woodard was 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk; Portes and Singleton finished up 2-for-5, Portes with a RBI, Sing with a double. Olson and Ortiz were 1-for-2 each, both one hit wonders, while Ovalle going 1-for-3 had a double and a RBI.

Lehmann was 1-for-4 with a double, while Ramos at 1-for-5 had a run.

The two teams rematch Sunday for the final game of the regular season. Game time is 1:05 PM, weather permitting.

News-Press: Playoffs
Let's Go Miracle Blog
Roger's Minor League Report
Pending Pinstripes Blog

* Due to the delay in Starting Saturday night's Fan Appreciation Game and Festivities, the Miracle are inviting everyone with a ticket from Saturday's game to return for Sunday's final home game, or any of the FSL Playoff games to be played at Hammond Stadium during the upcoming week. All you need to do is bring your torn or untorn ticket to the Ticket Office window prior to the game you wish to attend and make the exchange. For more information, please call the Miracle office during regular business hours at 239-768-4210.

* The New Britain Rock Cats defeated the Binghamton Mets, 7-1. Ryan Mullins picked up the win. Steve Tolleson cranked his 9th home run of the season over the left field wall in the fifth inning. Tolleson and Danny Valencia each had a pair of runs and a pair of RBIs in the contest (a href="" target="newwin">Rock Cats/OSC). Fernando Martinez went yard for the B-Mets, but it was evidently forgotten by the Rock Cats at the time they wrote up their game report.

* The AAA Yankees defeated the Rochester Red Wings 8-6 in extra innings at Frontier Field. Trevor Plouffe hit a grand slam home run for the Red Wings, who got runs from six different players (RD&C).

* The Burlington Bees stung the Beloit Snappers 7-2. All three of the Twins affiliated teams finish up their seasons on Monday (Bees).

* Gustav crossed Cuba and is off the Tip of Key West in the Gulf. High sustained winds were 125 miles, a Cat 3. It is expected to strengthen before it plows into Louisianna Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.