Three Fort Myers Miracle pitchers combined to shut out the Clearwater Threshers 8-0 Thursday night in the series opener at Hammond Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,119.
Matt Summers started and went seven scoreless innings, scattering five hits and walking one with seven strikeouts. Summers improved to 4-5 on the season and has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts.
The Miracle offense staked Summers to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Andy Leer broke a scoreless tie with a two-run single to deep left field that plated Mike Kvasnicka and J.D. Williams. Two batters later, Aderling Mejia earned a RBI with a sacrifice fly that scored Leer.
Byron Buxton extended Fort Myers' lead to 5-0 in the fourth inning with one swing. On a 1-0 pitch from Clearwater starter Hoby Milner with a runner aboard, Buxton blasted a deep fly ball over the fence in straight away left. The homer was Buxton's third of the season and second in the last three games.
Kvasnicka would add a RBI double in the fifth to push the lead to 6-0. The Miracle recorded two more runs in the eighth with a run-scoring double by Leer and a RBI single off the bat of Mejia.
Leer finished the game 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three more driven in while Mejia was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Mejia extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Kvasnicka was 2-for-4 with a run scored and another batted in.
Manuel Soliman pitched a scoreless eighth and Corey Williams returned off the disabled list for a perfect ninth. Milner (9-5) was the losing pitcher.
The Miracle (62-37, 17-15) host Clearwater (50-49, 15-16) for the second of a four-game series at 7:05 p.m. Friday.
Two-time Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain will be at Hammond Stadium to sign autographs and fans are encouraged to bring their puppies to the ballpark for Dog Daze. Gates open at 6:05 p.m.