TAMPA, Fla. (July 5, 2017) - Nelson Molina's two triples and go-ahead RBI-single in the seventh gave the Fort Myers Miracle (8-4) a 3-1 win over the Tampa Yankees (8-4) on Wednesday night. An hour and 52-minute rain delay lengthened the game, but the Miracle have forced a rubber match on Thursday night.
RHP Sean Poppen had his FSL debut shortened due to the rain. The righty allowed two hits over two innings and did not allow a run. RHP Erik Swanson churned out similar numbers in his brief start before the rain came after the bottom of the second.
After the delay, Jeff Hendrix broke the scoreless tie with a solo home run in the third against RHP Keaton Steele (W, 2-5). After the bomb, Steele proceeded to set down 11 batters in a row.
The Miracle tied the game in the fifth after Molina tripled for the second time in as many at bats. Max Murphy drove him in with a sac fly to center. In the top of the seventh, the Miracle made their move. A Brian Navarreto walk followed by a Tanner English base hit bunt set the table for Molina. The Miracle second baseman got jammed and fought a two-strike pitch off into left field for his third of four hits, scoring Navarreto. Two batters later, Brandon Lopez lifted a sacrifice fly to right deep enough to score English, giving the Miracle a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Steele ran into trouble after two infield singles. Tim Lynch then lined a ball to center that somehow hung up for English. Trey Amburgey was caught in no-man's land between second and third as English doubled him up for the first two outs. Austin Aune then ripped a ball off the wall in left as Nick Solak tried to score from first. The relay came in perfectly, and Solak was cut down at home for the final out of the frame.
RHP Alex Muren (Sv, 2) dealt with the final two innings, recording five strikeouts to shut the door and earn a six-out save
The Miracle and Yankees duel in a runner match on Thursday night. LHP Lewis Thorpe goes for Fort Myers, as he faces RHP Brian Keller at 7:00 PM ET at Steinbrenner Field.
To stay up to date on upcoming promotional nights, follow the Miracle online at Miraclebaseball.com or through social media; Twitter: @MiracleBaseball, Instagram: fortmyersmiracle, Facebook: Fort Myers Miracle, Snapchat: ftmyersmiracle. To purchase tickets, visit MiracleBaseball.com/tickets. For further information or questions regarding the 2017 25th Anniversary Season, call the Miracle offices at (239) 768-4210.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.