FORT MYERS, Fla. (August 14, 2018) - In a game that featured four lead changes, two ties and 29 combined hits, the Charlotte Stone Crabs out-slugged the Fort Myers Miracle 13-12 Tuesday at Hammond Stadium.
In what was the highest scoring game of the year, the Stone Crabs (65-52, 31-19) avoided relinquishing first place Tuesday, stretching their advantage to 1.5 games over the Miracle (58-61, 30-21).
Charlotte trailed 11-8 entering the top of the seventh inning. Fort Myers reliever Alex Robinson (1-4) walked the bases loaded before getting the first out. Jermaine Palacios then pulled a double over the third base bag, scoring two runs to make it 11-10. With runners at second and third, Vidal Brujan pulled a single through the drawn-in infield to tie the game at 11. Two batters later, Robbie Tenerowicz lined a two-run single to center to give Charlotte a 13-11 lead.
Stone Crabs left-hander Ivan Pelaez went the final three innings to earn the save, striking out five.
The scoring started early and never stopped in Tuesday's thriller. Brujan doubled to start the first inning before Fort Myers starter Clark Beeker walked a pair of Stone Crabs. With the bases loaded and two outs, Tristan Gray lined a bases-clearing double to the left field corner to make it 3-0 Stone Crabs. Rene Pinto followed by bouncing an RBI single to right to make it 4-0.
In the bottom of the first, Miracle shortstop Royce Lewis homered to make it 4-1 before two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out. Travis Blankenhorn then lined a bases-clearing triple to the wall in right field to tie the game.
In the top of the second, Brendan McKay pulled a two-run home run to right to give the Stone Crabs a 6-4 lead.
The Stone Crabs scored on base hits from Palacios and Gray in the third and fourth respectively, but the Miracle scored in four of the next five innings to take a three-run lead. Fort Myers connected on five home runs, including two from Mark Contreras.
Gray finished the night with three doubles, passing three former Stone Crabs to take over second place on Charlotte's single-season doubles list. He is now three doubles shy of Mark Sheridan's 38 two-baggers in 2011.
The Stone Crabs' 13 runs pushed the team past the franchise record for runs in a season. With 19 games still left to play, Charlotte broke the 2011 team's mark of 611 runs scored.
The teams will meet again on Wednesday beginning at 7 p.m. Jose Mujica (1-0, 6.59) makes the start against Brusdar Graterol (3-2, 4.06) of Fort Myers. Coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. on the Stone Crabs Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.