FORT MYERS, Fla. -The Fort Myers Miracle took advantage of four Tampa Tarpons errors and evened the three-game weekend series at one with a 5-4 win Saturday Night at Hammond Stadium.
Fort Myers (6-4) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth. Centerfielder Aaron Whitefield doubled to center and advanced to third on a balk. Travis Blankenhorn drove him home on a ground ball to second but reached base safely on a fielding error. Later in the inning, with a runner on first and two out, Jimmy Kerrigan and Jaylin Davis posted back-to-back singles, with the latter driving in a run. Jared Foster then reached on an error that allowed Kerrigan to score before Alex Perez capped off the big inning with a single to center.
The Tarpons (4-6) got on the scoreboard in the sixth on a Keith Skinner single but the Miracle answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. With two out and a runner at second, Foster delivered with a run scoring hit to right to push the Miracle lead to 5-1.
Isiah Gilliam, Tim Lynch, and Angel Aguilar all collected run scoring hits in the seventh to bring the Tarpons to within 5-4 but it was the closest they would come.
Phil Hughes (2-0) shined in his second MLB rehab start, tossing five shutout innings. Hughes, currently working his way back from a left oblique strain, limited the Tarpons to three hits. Colton Davis was the first man out of the bullpen and the Right-hander struggled, allowing four runs on six hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Ryan Mason, in his Miracle debut, pitched the game's final 2 1/3 innings to earn his first save of the season.
Tampa Right-hander Michael King (0-1) allowed five runs (two earned) over 5 2/3 innings. The Rochester, NY native struck out five.
The series win is on the line Sunday afternoon in Fort Myers. The Tarpons will send Nick Green (1-0, 0.00) to the mound while the Miracle counter with Clark Beeker (0-0, 3.60). First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.