FORT MYERS, Fla. - Home runs from Brian O'Keefe and Dylan Carlson led the Palm Beach Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Fort Myers Miracle on Thursday night at Hammond Stadium.
With two on and two out in the first, O'Keefe smashed a three-run shot over the wall in left to give the Cardinals an early 3-0 lead.
The Miracle got one back in the second on a Shane Carrier sacrifice fly.
But the Cardinals answered with a run in the third on Carlson's solo shot to push the lead to 4-1. The Palm Beach outfielder drove in nine runs in the series.
Fort Myers plated a run in the ninth on a Ben Rortvedt single, but pinch-hitter Taylor Grzelakowski flew out with the tying runs on base to end the game.
Tyler Wells (7-4) pitched six innings and allowed four runs. Wells, who lost for the first time since May 26, allowed five hits (two home runs) and struck out six. Ryan Mason (one inning), Colton Davis (1.2 innings), and Alex Robinson (0.1 innings) combined to keep Palm Beach off the scoreboard.
Jesus Cruz (2-0) earned his second win of the season after limiting the Miracle to one run in 5.1 innings. The right-hander allowed just two hits. Eric Carter earned his first save of the year. The right-hander was summoned out of the bullpen with the tying runs on base and two outs in the ninth.
The win gives Palm Beach a 9-3 edge in the season series.
The Miracle begin a three-game series Friday night in Lakeland against the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. First pitch is 6:30 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.