Burnett gets Miracle into FSL Finals

Tosses six dominant frames in Fort Myers' sweep of Dunedin

(Jerry Hale/MLB.com)

By Steve Conley / Special to MLB.com | September 3, 2008 7:30 PM

Alex Burnett couldn't have picked a better time to shut down the Florida State League's most productive offense.

Burnett (1-0) allowed just two hits over six shutout innings and the Fort Myers Miracle held on to top the Dunedin Blue Jays, 3-1, on Wednesday to sweep the best-of-3 series and advance to the Florida State League Finals for the first time since 1995.

Fort Myers had been eliminated by Dunedin in its three previous playoff appearance -- 2000, '03 and '06. The Miracle's last Finals appearance ended in a loss to the Daytona Cubs.

Burnett, who struck out three and walked three, allowed a two-out double in the first and a one-out single in the second before retiring 12 of the final 15 batters he faced.

Blair Erickson allowed an unearned run on two hits over two innings, and Anthony Slama worked around a single and a walk in the ninth for his second save of the series.

The Blue Jays averaged 5 1/3 runs per game during the regular season, and Burnett allowed 10 earned runs on 18 hits over 14 1/3 innings in three starts against them. He finished the regular season strong, giving up just one run while striking out 17 over his final 12 innings.

As they did a night earlier, the Miracle put two early runs on the board, scoring twice in the second inning. Whitney Robbins doubled to lead off the frame and scored one out later on Johnny Woodard's single. Woodward stole second, took third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a double by Juan Portes.

Wilson Ramos provided a late insurance run with a two-out RBI single in the seventh.

Dunedin starter Reidier Gonzalez (0-1) allowed two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out four over six innings.

Adam Calderone hit an RBI single in the eighth for the Blue Jays. Box score

In other FSL action:

Daytona Cubs 10, Palm Beach Cardinals 9
Russ Canzler homered and drove in two runs and Darwin Barney collected three hits and scored twice as Daytona outslugged Palm Beach in their playoff opener. Box score

Steve Conley is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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