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Miracle win pair at Jupiter

August 12, 2013
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

JUPITER - The Fort Myers Miracle won a pair of games over the Jupiter Hammerheads Sunday evening. They won the first game 5-2 and took the second game 3-1.

In game one, the Miracle and Hammerheads picked up play in a suspended game from June 28. Steven Gruver entered to pitch for the Miracle with runners on first and second with one out in a 0-0 tie. After recording the second out on a strikeout of Wilfredo Gimenez, Gruver induced a ground ball to short from Noah Perio. Aderling Mejia's throw to second base deflected off the glove of Andy Leer and allowed Alfredo Lopez to score and give Jupiter a 1-0 lead.

The Miracle answered in the top of the fifth off Hammerheads reliever Joel Effertz. Effertz gave up a lead off single to Stephen Wickens. Leer sacrificed Wickens to second and a D.J. Hicks ground ball to first advanced him to third. With two outs, Byron Buxton dropped a single into right field to plate Wickens at tie the game 1-1.

Fort Myers took the lead, 2-1, in the sixth on a sacrifice fly from Matt Koch. Jhon Goncalves reached on a walk with no outs and stole second and third base. With one out, Koch hit a fly ball to deep right field that brought in Goncalves.

The Hammerheads tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single from Josh Adams. After walking the bases loaded, Gruver exited the game in favor of Miracle reliever Chad Rodgers. Adams hit a chopper through the left side that scored a run, but Goncalves nailed Austin Nola at home plate to prevent Jupiter from taking the lead.

In the seventh, the Miracle offense scored three runs. Buxton earned a bases loaded walk to drive in his second run the game. Mejia and Vargas each singled in a run to stake the Miracle to a 5-2 advantage.

Rodgers (7-1) retired the final 10 batters of the game consecutively.

Starters for both teams on June 28, Manuel Soliman for the Miracle and Jake Esch for the Hammerheads, did not return to the game after play resumed.

In game two, the Miracle jumped out to an early lead in the first inning. J.D. Williams earned a one-out walk and Wickens followed with a base hit to put runners on the corners. Hicks stepped up and smashed a line drive through the left side on a 3-2 pitch from Jupiter starter Scott Lyman to score Williams, 1-0.

In the third, Buxton led off with a walk, advanced to second on a ground out and then scored on a double by Wickens to push Fort Myers' lead to 2-0.

Cole De Vries, on a rehabilitation assignment from Triple-A Rochester, pitched five scoreless innings with four strikeouts and allowed just two hits. De Vries (1-0) handed the game over to Adrian Salcedo in the sixth.

Salcedo gave up a double to Brent Keys and a single to Alfredo Lopez to put runners at first and third with no outs. MLB rehabber Casey Kotchman grounded out to first to advance Lopez to second. Then, Ryan Fisher hit a chopper to third that was mishandled by Jhon Goncalves allowing Keys to score on the error. With the lead now cut down to 2-1, Salcedo got Noah Perio to hit into an inning ending double play.

The Miracle regained a two-run advantage in the top of the seventh. Hicks brought in Buxton on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field. Hicks finished 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI.

Salcedo earned his second save of the season by retiring the side in the seventh that included another double play from the middle infield.

The Miracle (70-44, 25-22) wrap up the season series with Jupiter (59-59, 23-27) evening.



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