BRADENTON – The Fort Myers Miracle (34-24, 75-52) defeated the Marauders (35-22, 70-56) for the 10th time this season, taking Tuesday’s series opener at McKechnie Field 3-2. The loss leaves the Marauders one game ahead of the Palm Beach Cardinals for first place in the South Division standings for the second half.
Brett Lee (W, 10-4) scattered 11 hits over seven innings for the Miracle. The lefty struck out three and walked only one. Nick Burdi and Zack Jones (S, 1) each pitched an inning for the Miracle.
The Marauders opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. Jose Osuna and Eric Wood opened the inning with consecutive singles. Max Moroff singled in the first run, putting the hosts up 1-0. Lee escaped the inning without further trouble thanks in part to a diving catch by Max Kepler in right field to deny Jacob Stallings a hit.
Fort Myers scored twice against Shane Carle (L, 2-3) in the top of the third. One run came in on a fly ball single from Travis Harrison that was nearly caught by Justin Howard, but popped out of his glove as he ran into the wall. An errant throw by Carle on a delayed steal brought home the second run to put Fort Myers up 2-1.
Jose Osuna singled in the tying run in the bottom of the third, but Lee was able to induce three straight inning ending double plays to stymie the Marauders despite allowing so many hits. The Marauders stranded seven runners in the game.
The winning run came in for the Miracle in the fifth inning. Jason Kanzler singled and went first to third on Aderling Mejia’s third hit of the game. Niko Goodrum brought home Kanzler with a sacrifice fly.
Game two of the series is Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. Jason Creasy will start for the Marauders. Fort Myers will turn to Steven Gruver. Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
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