FORT MYERS, Fla. (May 19, 2017) - The Fort Myers Miracle (22-20) captured their sixth straight victory with a series-opening 7-1 win over the Bradenton Marauders (26-16) on Friday night. Rafael Valera's first career home run proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning.
For the third straight night, the opposition scored first, when Bradenton took a 1-0 on Cole Tucker's third home run of the year. The run was the only blemish on starter LHP Lewis Thorpe's line. The Aussie, who made his first appearance since 2014, fanned three over four frames coming off missing two seasons with Tommy John surgery and mono.
In the bottom of the fourth, Fort Myers tied the game on Tanner English's RBI-single, scoring Chris Paul from second. An inning later, the Miracle put together their put-away inning with four more runs. Valera began the frame with his tater to left-center. With runners at second and third, Paul sent a slow-roller to third where Alfredo Reyes fielded the ball and came home to try and nab Nelson Molina. The runner slid around the tag to plate the third run, and two batters later, English provided another clutch hit which brought in two more. All of the runs in the fifth were charged to starter RHP Gage Hinsz (L, 1-3)
Up 5-1 in the eighth, Molina blooped a two-out two-run single of his own to right scoring English and Valera who hustled all the way around from first.
While the offense was at work, Fort Myers relievers once again provided no window for a comeback, dealing five innings of shutout ball. LHP Anthony McIver (W, 1-1) followed Thorpe with 2.1 innings on the way to his first win of the season. RHP Alex Muren took care of the next 1.2 stanzas while RHP Nick Anderson locked down the ninth.
The Miracle look for their seventh straight with the second game against Bradenton. RHP Dereck Rodriguez battles RHP Logan Sendelbach with first pitch at 6:35 PM ET. The Miracle are giving away $2,500 in cash and prizes throughout the game on the 25th home game of the 25th anniversary season Saturday night.
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. 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.