FT Myers – The Miracle (40-28) kept their clutches on first place in the South Division, defeating the Marauders (35-33) 4-2 on Tuesday night at McKechnie Field. Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios (W, 7-2) didn’t allow a Marauder past first over seven dominant innings, striking out nine while allowing one hit and two walks. Josh Bell collected the lone hit with two outs in the first inning.
John Kuchno (L, 3-6) matched Berrios pitch-for-pitch through the first three innings, facing the minimum. Jorge Polanco broke a scoreless tie with a solo home run on a 2-0 pitch from Kuchno leading off the top of the fourth. Three more Fort Myers hits in the inning led to two more runs and a 3-0 lead for the home team. Kuchno pitched six innings and struck out four.
Fort Myers added to the lead with an unearned run against Ryan Hafner in the seventh. Niko Goodrum singled, stole second, and scored on a wild throw by Jose Osuna. Goodrum drew the throw by breaking for third base on Eric Wood’s throw across the diamond on a Tyler Grimes ground out.
The Marauders got on the board against Madison Boer in the eighth. Max Moroff walked for the second time in the game, Raul Fortunato singled, and Jin-De-Jhang’s ground out to first advanced both runners one base. Moroff scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Jeff Roy and D.J. Crumlich singled to plate Fortunato. Boer struck out Bell to end the threat and the inning with Fort Myers holding a 4-2 lead.
Josh Smith pitched a perfect bottom of the eighth for the Marauders, striking out two. Tyler Jones (S, 8) walked Wood leading off the top of the ninth, but set down the next three batters for his eighth save.
The final game of the first half of the Florida State League season is Wednesday. The Marauders face the Miracle at 7:05 p.m. Jason Creasy will be on the mound for the Marauders. The game will be broadcast online at www.BradentonMarauders.com.
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