The Daytona Cubs edged the Fort Myers Miracle 2-1 in the series opener of a four-game set in front of 2,014 fans Friday night at Hammond Stadium.
The Cubs pushed across a pair of runs on groundouts in the first and seventh innings. In the first, Pin-Chieh Chen doubled to left to lead off against Miracle starter Alex Wimmers. Chen then stole third base. After Zeke DeVoss lined out, Albert Almora hit a roller to second and was retired, but Chen scored.
That run was the only one allowed by Wimmers. Through six innings of a no decision, Wimmers allowed just two hits with two walks and struck out eight. Fanning two in each of his final three innings, Wimmers' eight punch outs matched Jose Berrios' May 13 performance for the most by an individual pitcher for the Miracle this season.
In the third, the Miracle tied the game against Cubs starter Felix Pena. With one out, Mejia singled into left center and then advanced to second on a ground out to first by Dalton Hicks. Jorge Polanco then doubled down the first base line on an 0-1 pitch from Pena to score Mejia and tie the game, 1-1.
The double by Polanco was his second hit of the evening after extending his hitting streak to 13 games with a first inning single.
Steven Gruver entered in the seventh out of the Miracle bullpen and relinquished three consecutive base hits to Almora, Bijan Rademacher and Dan Vogelbach. Gruver then got Chadd Krist to hit into a 5-4-3 double play, but Almora scored to give the Cubs a 2-1 edge.
After one run in four innings off Pena, the Miracle struggled against the Daytona bullpen. Zach Cates entered the game in the fifth and pitched three scoreless innings. Cates (1-1) gave up just one hit and struck out two while earning the win.
Andrew McKirahan recorded a two-inning save, but had to work out of a jam in the ninth. After a perfect eighth inning, McKirahan loaded the bases. Polanco reached on an error, Dalton Hicks walked and Travis Harrison singled. McKirahan then struck out both Mike Gonzales and Adam Brett Walker before getting Stuart Turner to pop out in foul ground to end the game.
Cubs first baseman Dan Vogelbach, a local product from Bishop Verot High School, caught the final out. Vogelbach went 1-for-3 with a walk.
The Miracle (23-17) host the Cubs (13-24) Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.