FORT MYERS, Fla. - Five pitchers combined to permit just two unearned runs in the regular-season finale, as the Threshers suffered a 2-1 loss to the FSL South's second-half champion Fort Myers Miracle on Sunday afternoon at Hammond Stadium.
With the Miracle win, combined with Charlotte's 5-2 loss to Florida, Fort Myers (40-29) (68-69) has clinched the final playoff spot. The Threshers (45-24) (77-60) will host the Daytona Tortugas in the North division series starting on Tuesday, while the Miracle will battle the Palm Beach Cardinals.
Ramon Rosso worked three scoreless innings in the start on Sunday, permitting five hits while striking out three. The Threshers used five pitchers on the afternoon, which served as a final tuneup for its relief corps before the playoffs.
The Miracle grabbed a pair of unearned runs in the fourth off reliever JD Hammer (1-2). Shane Carrier started the rally with a one-out single, stole second, and advanced to third on an errant throwdown from catcher Henri Lartigue. With two outs, Aaron Whitfield singled to left-center to score Carrier.
Whitefield proceeded to steal second and third, and scored as well on a throwing error from Lartigue to make it 2-0.
Brusdar Graterol held Clearwater scoreless through 4.2 innings in the start for the Miracle, before Jovani Moran (6-1) took over for the final out of the fifth.
The score remained 2-0 until the sixth, when Daniel Brito was hit by a pitch, and Lartigue singled to left with two outs. Luke Williams came through to break up the shutout, singling through the right side to score Brito and make it 2-1.
Alberto Tirado turned in two scoreless innings in relief, working around a walk and a single while striking out three. Grant Dyer spun a perfect seventh.
Addison Russ permitted a walk and a double in the eighth, but held the Miracle off the board to keep the deficit at one.
Colton Davis held Clearwater at bay through the final two innings to earn his fourth save for Fort Myers.
After an off day on Monday, the Florida State League North division series opens at Spectrum Field at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, as the second-half champion Threshers host the first-half champion Daytona Tortugas in the opener of the best-of-three set.
Dollar Tuesday is back, presented by Regions Bank, and the game will be broadcast live on threshersbaseball.com beginning at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are available here and in-person at the BayCare Box Office at Spectrum Field.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.