FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 17, 2013) - Fort Myers' record-setting winning streak come to an end when the Palm Beach Cardinals defeated the Miracle 5-3 on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium.
The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak to start the season which was the best ever for the Miracle since they moved to Fort Myers in 1992. Unfortunately for the Miracle, they came up one win shy of setting a new record for most consecutive wins overall in team history. The 1995 and 2007 teams also won 12 in a row.
The Miracle streak ended in large part because of the strong pitching performance from Palm Beach starter Sam Gaviglio, who gave up two runs and seven hits in six solid inngs. Nursing a 3-2 lead, Gaviglio got out of bases loaded jam in the sixth when he got Kyle Knudson to fly out right field.
The Miracle made one more last ditch effort to extend the streak in the ninth against closer Heath Wyatt. They loaded the bases with one out and AJ Pettersen delivered a run-scoring single to cut the deficit to 5-3. But with the tying run on second and the winning run on first, Angel Morales grounded into a game-ending 6-3 double play.
A 13-game winning streak looked like promising early. For the 11th time in 13 games, the Miracle scored first. Morales plated Knudson on a sac fly in the second and Eddie Rosario followed with a ground out that allowed Andy Leer to cross home and make it 2-0.
Miracle starter Matt Summers was cruising through four innings of work, but he ran into trouble in the fifth and sixth after easily recording the first two outs.
In the fifth, Ronny Gil started a two-out rally with a single to center. James Ramsey drew a walk and Nick Longmire grounded a ball past a diving Miguel Sano down the third base line to score Gil and Ramsey.
The game remained 2-2 until Tyler Rahmatulla started another two-out rally off of Summers in the sixth with a double. Rahmatulla scored one batter later when Juan Castillo singled him home for 3-2 Cardinal lead.
Palm Beach added what turned out to be two important insurance runs against Tim Wood in the seventh. Wood, who was making his second rehab appearance in a Miracle uniform for the Twins, loaded the bases by giving up a walk and two singles. He allowed an RBI ground out before being removed from the game.
Miguel Munoz came in and got two grounds out, one that let a runner score from third, and the Cardinals held a 5-2 advantage.
Cardinals reliever Jonathan Cornelius retired all six batters he faced in the seventh and eighth, including a striking out his last four hitters. Wyatt hung on in the ninth to earn the save.
Summers took the loss. He lasted 5 2/3 innings, scattering seven hits and three runs.
The Miracle (12-1) will be back in action on Thursday when they hit the road to visit the St. Lucie Mets (9-4). Join Brice Zimmerman for the broadcast on www.miraclebaseball.com beginning at 6:15 p.m.