BRADENTON – The Fort Myers Miracle swept the Marauders, rallying in the ninth inning on Max Kepler’s grand slam to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 win on Thursday night at McKechnie Field. The loss drops the Marauders into third place in the South Division standings, one game behind the Palm Beach Cardinals and a half game behind the Miracle.
The game got underway after a rain delay of 136 minutes, the longest of the season for the Marauders. Chad Kuhl turned in a great start for Bradenton, surrendering just one unearned run and one hit over six innings pitched. Kuhl struck out five and walked three.
Bradenton erased a 1-0 deficit in the sixth inning, scoring twice against Tyler Jones. Jordan Steranka and Eric Wood provided RBI singles to give the Marauders the lead.
Joan Montero pitched two scoreless innings, stranding the tying run at third in the eighth. Yhonathan Barrios (L, 0-1) took over in the ninth and surrendered the decisive home run.
Five Miracle pitchers combined to strike out 14 Marauders batters. D.J. Johnson (W, 2-0) earned the win. Nick Burdi (S, 1) pitched the ninth and struck out the side.
The Marauders open a critical series against the Palm Beach Cardinals on Friday at Roger Dean Stadium. The series starts with the resumption of a suspended game, with the Marauders leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, two outs and the Cardinals batting. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m.
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