Tyler Duffey hurled six scoreless innings to help the Fort Myers Miracle defeat the Jupiter Hammerheads 4-2 at Hammond Stadium Wednesday night.
Duffey (3-0) faced just two batters over the minimum allowing one walk and one hit. Notching five strikeouts, Duffey recorded seven ground ball outs and lowered his earned run average to 2.82.
The Miracle gave Duffey an early lead. Facing Miami Marlins' right-hander Jacob Turner on a MLB rehabilitation start, Fort Myers pushed across two runs in the first inning. Levi Michael lead off with a single up the middle, followed by a double down the third base line from Travis Harrison. With runners on the corners, Jorge Polanco hit a sharp ground ball to first baseman Viosergy Rosa. Polanco raced down the line and beat out the toss to Turner for an infield hit and Michael scored, 1-0.
Fort Myers' second run in the first inning came on the first of four errors by the Jupiter defense. On a 2-1 pitch, Dalton Hicks smashed a one-hop rocket to Rosa at first, but it bounced off his glove and into shallow right field. Harrison trotted home to give the Miracle a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Miracle nearly let a scoring opportunity slip away. After Hammerheads reliever Jheyson Manzueta struck out Niko Goodrum, Stuart Turner lined an 0-2 pitch into center for a hit. A.J. Pettersen followed with a double down the left field line to place runners at second and third.
After a fly out to shallow by Michael for the second out, Harrison drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle. On a 1-1 pitch, Harrison shattered his bat, but still muscled a ground ball past the diving glove of shortstop Ryan Goetz to give the Miracle a 4-0 lead.
Harrison finished 2-for-4 with a double, RBI and a run scored. Now 15-for-36 in the last nine games, Harrison has nine runs knocked in during that stretch and is now 4-for-9 on the season with runners in scoring position and two outs.
Fort Myers reliever Tim Shibuya pitched two scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth, but Brian Gilbert had difficulty in the ninth. Gilbert allowed Jupiter to score two runs on two-out RBI singles from Rosa and Goetz before recording the final out on a fly ball to right field.
Turner (0-1) lasted four innings in his rehabilitation start and allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts.
The Miracle (10-9) will try to split the series with Jupiter (8-11) in the finale at Hammond Stadium Thursday.