FORT MYERS, Fla. - Mickey Moniak knocked a season-high four hits, and Clearwater collected a season-most 19 hits total in taking down the Fort Myers Miracle, 10-2 in the series opener at Hammond Stadium on Friday night.
Clearwater (44-23) (76-59) has matched its highest win total in a half in Threshers history (2004-present). The mark was set in the second half of 2007, by a team that went on to win the Florida State League championship.
The Miracle (39-28) (67-68) fell back into a tie with the Charlotte Stone Crabs for first place in the FSL South.
Mauricio Llovera dealt six strong innings in the start, limiting the Miracle to two runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks while collecting nine strikeouts.
Friday's win was the sixth consecutive start in which Llovera (8-7) has dealt six or more innings, permitting two earned runs or less.
Raul Rivas led off the ballgame with an eight-pitch walk, and Jose Gomez followed with a single up the middle. After receiving the throw, Miracle pitcher Griffin Jax (3-4) mistakenly tossed the live ball out of play, resulting in a two-base error that permitted Rivas to score.
Moniak the delivered a single through the right side to score Gomez and push Clearwater up, 2-0.
The Miracle got on the board in the home half, when Alex Kiriilloff homered off the foul pole down the left field line.
Clearwater got that run back in the second, when Grenny Cumana singled, stole second, and scored on Kevin Markham's single past short. After Fort Myers pushed a run across in the bottom half, Clearwater pulled away with a three-spot in the third.
After back-to-back singles from Moniak and Henri Lartigue opened the inning, Jax nearly worked around it by inducing a flyout and a popout, but Cumana came through with a single past third to plate Moniak.
The Miracle went to the bullpen, calling upon lefty Kevin Marnon, and Markham greeted him by drawing a walk to load the bases. Brian Mims then sent a broken-bat flair to right for a two-run single, opening up a 6-2 lead.
Clearwater kept its foot on the gas in the fourth, adding two more on a line-drive, two-run shot to right from Kyle Martin that expanded the advantage to 8-2. Rivas added his third home run of the season in the eighth inning, and drove home a run with a single in the ninth to cap the scoring with Clearwater on top, 10-2.
The Threshers and Miracle face off in the penultimate game of the regular season on Saturday at 6 p.m. Bailey Falter takes the mound against Edwar Colina, and the game will be broadcast live on threshersbaseball.com starting at 5:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.