Threshers Fend off Miracle Rally, Win 8-7
FORT MYERS, Fla. (July 30, 2014) - The Clearwater Threshers held off a rally from the Fort Myers Miracle to pick up an 8-7 win at Hammond Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Miracle starter Tim Shibuya surrendered eight runs in the first three innings on nine hits. The Threshers sent nine men to the plate in the second inning and scored five runs. In the third, Chris Serritella hit a three-run homer off Shibuya (7-4) to push the Clearwater lead to 8-0.
Shibuya took the loss with all eight runs earned on nine hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Clearwater starter Miguel Nunez stunted the Fort Myers offense allowing just one hit over six shutout frames. Nunez (5-7) walked three and struck out eight.
The Miracle finally got on the board with a five-run inning in the seventh against Clearwater reliever Ramon Oviedo. Jason Kanzler led off with a walk then moved to third on a double from Jairo Rodriguez. Tyler Grimes then snapped the shutout bid by serving an RBI single into right field. Byron Buxton followed with a run-scoring base hit, 8-2. After Aderling Mejia popped out, Dalton Hicks earned a walk.
Threshers reliever Ethan Stewart took over for Oviedo and retired Travis Harrison on a pop up to the catcher. A wild pitch scored Grimes from third, then Max Kepler ripped a double into right center field and two runs scored, 8-5.
Fort Myers inched closer in the eighth with another pair of runs. Kanzler led off the frame with a single to left. Rodriguez walked and Grimes flew out to right. Then, with Kanzler on the move, Buxton hit a ground ball to the left side. Kanzler lept over the dribbler, landed on third base and came home to score. Buxton was credited with his second RBI of the night and finished the evening 2-for-4.
Stewart gave way to Threshers reliever Cody Forsythe. After getting Mejia to fly out to center, Hicks singled up the middle to bring in Rodriguez and cut the Clearwater lead to one run, 8-7.
Forsythe would record the final four outs of the game, stranding four base runners, to earn his third save of the season.
The Miracle (65-42, 24-14) look to split the series with Clearwater (34-73, 16-22) in the final regular season home game at Hammond Stadium. Fans can enjoy half priced domestic draft beers on a Thirsty Thursday. The Miracle will also be giving away a backpack stuffed with goodies for the first 500 fans 12 and under courtesy of KOHL'S and B103.9 FM.
Fort Myers will play the final eight home dates of the regular season at JetBlue Park on Daniels Parkway, east of I-75. The Miracle will be at JetBlue Park on August 12-17 and August 28-29. For tickets and information, call (239) 768-4210 or visit www.miraclebaseball.com.
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