DUNEDIN - The Dunedin Blue Jays held off a late surge by the Fort Myers Miracle Thursday night to win 7-5.
The Blue Jays notched a run in the bottom of the first inning off Miracle starter Alex Wimmers. Dwight Smith, Jr. walked, Kevin Patterson was hit by a pitch and Derrick Chung coaxed a free pass to load the bases. Emilio Guerrero hit a grounder to the left side. Niko Goodrum made a diving stop, but had no throw and a run scored, 1-0.
In the second, Gustavo Pierre led off with a double to left center. Christian Lopes slapped a two-bagger down the right field line to bring in Pierre. Dalton Pompey followed with a single up the middle to push the Dunedin lead to 3-0.
The Miracle got on the board in the fourth on a throwing error by Pierre. With one out, Dalton Hicks doubled off the wall in left. After Dunedin starter Kendall Graveman struck out Goodrum, Adam Brett Walker hit a bouncer to third. Pierre threw low to first and Walker was awarded a hit and Hicks scored on the wild throw, 3-1.
Dunedin extended the advantage in the fourth against Wimmers (2-3). With two outs, K.C. Hobson and Kevin Patterson walked. Chung struck a drive into the gap in left-center for a ground rule double scoring Hobson. Guerrero then dropped a single into center to bring in a pair of runs, 6-1.
Wimmers was finished after four innings, allowing six runs on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts.
Mason Melotakis entered in the fifth and allowed a two-out RBI triple to Smith to push the Dunedin lead to 7-1.
Fort Myers stormed back with four runs in the sixth. Jorge Polanco started with a double into center field and moved to third on a single by Travis Harrison. The base hit for Harrison extended his hitting streak to 12 games. With runners on the corners, Hicks hit a deep fly to center that brought in Polanco.
After Goodrum struck out, Walker launched a pitch over the fence in center for a two-run homer. The blast is Walker's eighth of the season. Dunedin turned to Danny Barnes in the bullpen after the homer. Barnes surrendered a solo homer to Mike Gonzales to cut the Jays lead to 7-5. Gonzales' bomb to left center marks the first time the Miracle have hit back-to-back long balls this season.
The Jays pen shut the door the rest of the way, including a three strikeout ninth for closer Arik Sikula, registering his FSL leading 14th save.
The Miracle (25-21) aim for the series split Friday night.