Jupiter, FL - The Cardinals gave up three runs in the seventh inning that led to a 5-2 loss to the Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday evening.
Connor Jones got the start on the bump for the Cardinals and went six innings giving up two runs, one of them earned, on eight hits. He walked two batters and struck out three.
The defense showed up early in the game as the second inning had the bases loaded with only one out for the Miracle. Jose Martinez made the first good play as he charged a chopper and got an out at home to keep it a scoreless game. He then followed it up with a sliding play up the middle to get the Cardinals out of the inning.
In the third inning, Jermaine Palacios singled to get on with one out. Mitchell Kranson followed it with a single of his own to centerfielder, Blake Drake. Drake threw a bullet to third baseman, Leobaldo Pina, to get Palacios at third. Jones struck out Zander Wiel to end the inning and keep it scoreless through three.
Casey Grayson and Chris Chinea started the bottom of the fourth with a pair of singles. Pina grounded into a double play to move Grayson to third base. Drake hit a single to center for his second hit of the game and to make it 1-0.
In the top of the fifth, Sean Miller started the inning with a single. He moved to second on a ground out. Palacios then hit a single that landed in front of Shane Billings, who threw the ball on a perfect line to home to get Miller out at home and keep it 1-0.
Jose Martinez started the fifth with a single and got to second after Thomas Spitz drew a walk. Grayson knocked in Martinez on a single to make it 2-0.
Connor Jones got into trouble as he walked the leadoff man and gave up back-to-back singles to load the bases. He got Nelson Molina to fly out to center and the Miracle did not want to test the arm of Blake Drake as he threw a laser home to keep the runners still. Jones got Shane Kennedy to hit a ground ball to Jose Martinez at short and it looked like he would get out of the inning, but Luke Dykstra threw the ball into the ground on the exchange and Chinea could not pick it allowing two runner to score. The game was tied at 2-2 after 5 and a half innings.
Hector Mendoza took over for Jones in the top of the seventh with the game still tied at 2. The Miracle scored three runs, one on a throwing error to take a 5-2 lead in the seventh, all with two outs in the inning.
Ross Vance would toss a scoreless ninth, but the Cardinals could not get a hit off Alex Muren and would lose 5-2.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.