Miracle host Yankees to open eight-game homestand

Tampa in town for four-game set

By Kellie Karbach, MiracleBaseball.com / Fort Myers Miracle | May 31, 2014 10:59 AM ET

The Fort Myers Miracle will begin an eight-game homestand with four against the Tampa Yankees From Saturday, May 31 to Tuesday, June 3. The Miracle (31-22) lead the St. Lucie Mets by a half game in the FSL South, while the Yankees (27-27) trail the first-place Dunedin Blue Jays by 11.5 games and are in fourth.

Saturday, May 31 is Stan and Haney night. The talk show hosts from 96 K-ROCK will be at Hammond Stadium to hang out with fans before and during the game. In addition, Saturday is Gold Appreciation Night. Prizes and foursomes will be handed out to fans throughout the night. Another SINK or SWIM Saturday offer allows fans to purchase a $12 wristband for All You Can Drink access through the sixth inning. The game is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

June 1 is another SUBWAY® restaurants Sunday at Hammond Stadium. Stop by participating SUBWAYS® to pick up a voucher for a FREE 4-pack of Miracle tickets! While you're there, check out the $4.50 Fresh Value Meal of the day. During the game another $16 All You Can Eat deal is available for attendees.

A $25 package which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four soda vouchers and a game program is another option for those who want to take their families to the ballpark on a Family Fun Sunday. Families can enjoy pre-game catch on the field and kids are welcome to run the bases after the game.

Silver Slugger Monday Club will also take place on June 2, with bingo later in the game. Seniors are invited to sign up for $35 and in the package will receive a t-shirt, free admission to all Monday home games, a Monday parking pass and more. The Silver Slugger Club is presented by Humana.

The set concludes on Tuesday, June 3 with 10-cent Beer Night and 2-4-1 Tuesdays promotions. Beer will be priced at 10 cents per ounce, and hotdogs, beer and fountain drinks are all two for the price of one. The Naples Daily News will also carry a 2-for-1 ticket offer in the day's paper. All deals are presented by Naples Daily News and Coors Light.

Last Time Around:

The Miracle finished 3-5 against the Tampa Yankees in 2013. The teams clashed last from August 2-5, with Tampa taking three of the four games in the series. Tampa scraped out a 2-1 win in the season opener on August 2, with former Miracle starter Tyler Duffey taking the loss. The Miracle proceeded to shut out the Yankees 5-0 the following day for the first and only win of the set.

 Tampa then responded with two consecutive walk-off wins. August 4 ended in Tampa's favor 7-6 thanks to a four-run ninth inning and a walk-off wild pitch. The Yankees pocketed a second rally in the bottom of the ninth on August 5, with Peter O'Brien plating two with a blast to left field to secure a 6-5 win.

By the Numbers:

Tampa bests Fort Myers in the batting average category with .254, the Miracle managing a .249 team total. Tampa is second in the league in slugging percentage (.382) and leads in home runs (41). Fort Myers has notched more triples, with 15 against Tampa's 10, and is second in RBI (244) and leads in runs scored (266). The Yankees have collected 208 RBI and 218 runs scored.

The Miracle (2.93) are just ahead in team ERA over the Yankees (3.12). Miracle pitchers have notched 16 saves against Tampa's 12 and allowed fewer runs (209) than Yankee arms (224). Fort Myers pitchers have walked fewer batters (147), but Tampa is second in the league in strikeouts with 424.

Game Times:

Saturday, May 31 at 6:05 p.m.
Sunday, June 1 at 4:05 p.m.
Monday, June 2 at 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, June 3 at 7:05 p.m.

Probable Starters:

Saturday: Rafael de Paula (TAM) v. Jose Berrios (FTM)

Right-handed De Paula was roughed up in an outing against the Brevard County Manatees on May 25. The 23-year old took a loss after lasting just two innings and surrendering seven runs, six earned, on eight hits.

Berrios, who turned 20 years old on May 27, displayed confidence and maturity in his last outing on May 25. Berrios threw six innings in a win over the Jupiter Hammerheads, clocking 7 strikeouts and allowing only one earned run. He is currently tied for fourth in the FSL with 52 strikeouts on the season.

Sunday: Miguel Sulbaran (TAM) v. Matt Tomshaw (FTM)

Former Twins farmhand Sulbaran is slated for Sunday's start. Sulbaran pitched one game for the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels before the Yankees acquired him from the Twins for infielder Eduardo Nunez. In four starts with Tampa the left-hander is 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA.

Tomshaw has been nearly untouchable in the month of May. In four starts that month the southpaw is undefeated with a 4-0 record, a 0.67 ERA and a .209 batting average against. Overall Tomshaw is third on the team in ERA (1.88) and has walked only six batters and fanned out 21.

Monday: Conner Kendrick (TAM) v. David Hurlbut (FTM)

Left-handed Kendrick is in his second professional year since being selected in the ninth round of the 2013 draft. In five starts Kendrick holds a 1-2 record and a 3.20 ERA.

Hurlbut recovered from a rough outing on May 21 with a strong eight inning performance a week later against Clearwater. Hurlbut granted one unearned run off four hits and struck out a season-high 10 batters.

Tuesday: TBD (TAM) v. Jason Wheeler (FTM)

Wheeler dropped his ERA to 2.90 with eight shutout innings on May 29 against Clearwater. The big left-hander allowed two hits, one walk and fanned out seven Threshers before earning his fourth win of the season.

Players to Watch - Tampa:

Jake Cave (OF)

Cave is presently ninth in the Florida State League in batting average (.314). The outfielder has knocked a pair of homers and gathered 11 doubles in 220 at-bats.

Phil Wetherell (RHP)

Aside from one poor outing on May 4, Wetherell has shut down opposing batters. His ERA sits at 0.44 and he has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings, holding opponents to six hits and snagging six strikeouts in that span.

Players to Watch - Fort Myers:

Adam Brett Walker (OF)

Walker has homered three times in his last two games and totals 12 to top the Florida State League. The slugging outfielder has 38 RBI to place second in that category and is currently hitting .236.

Matt Tomshaw (LHP)

Tomshaw is 4-0 in May and in his past five starts, 31 innings total, has allowed three earned runs and struck out 15. He is scheduled to take the hill on Sunday opposite Miguel Sulbaran.

Coaching Staff - Tampa:

Manager: Al Pedrique
Pitching coach: Danny Borrell
Hitting coach: P.J. Pilittere

Coaching Staff - Miracle:

Manager: Doug Mientkiewicz
Pitching coach: Gary Lucas
Hitting coach: Jim Dwyer




This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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