JUPITER, Fla. - The Palm Beach Cardinals held off the Fort Myers Miracle to win 5-4 at Roger Dean Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals scored at least one run in the first four innings off Miracle starter Jason Wheeler. In the first, Jon Rodriguez and Danny Stienstra delivered back-to-back two-out RBI singles. Colin Walsh picked up a run-scoring triple in the second and Anthony Garcia hit a solo home run in the third. Starling Rodriguez added a sacrifice fly in the fourth to create a 5-1 Palm Beach lead.
In the fifth, Jhon Goncalves was at the plate with a full count when a quick rain shower delayed play for 20 minutes. Cardinals starter Ryan Sherriff's first pitch after the delay was outside and Goncalves walked. Mike Kvasnicka then hit a 1-0 pitch from Sherriff over the left field fence for his third homer in four games. Kvasnicka's blast pulled the Miracle to a 5-3 deficit.
With the bases empty, Andy Leer reached on a throwing error by Palm Beach shortstop Alex Mejia. A balk and wild pitch moved Leer to third. Jonathan Murphy popped out. Byron Buxton, making his Miracle debut, hit a hard grounder to short and Mejia committed another error. Leer scored on the play and Buxton was credited for an RBI.
Both Palm Beach and Fort Myers' bullpens held the opposing lineups in check for the remainder of the game. Ryan O'Rourke pitched three scoreless for the Miracle and stranded four. Jose Gonzalez pitched a perfect eighth.
Corey Baker pitched two scoreless for the Cardinals and Dean Kiekhefer earned his second save with a pair of shutout innings.
Wheeler (6-3) lasted four innings and gave up five runs on seven hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. Sherriff (1-1) allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits in five innings.
The Miracle (48-25, 3-3) will stay at Roger Dean Stadium to open up a three-game series with the Jupiter Hammerheads on Wednesday night. Fans can listen to every pitch on www.miraclebaseball.com with the "Voice of the Miracle" Brice Zimmerman.