Wilson Garcia extended his on-base streak to 17 on Monday night, as the Clearwater Threshers suffered a 7-3 loss in the series opener at Hammond Stadium.
Garcia finished 1-for-4, doubling to deep right in the eighth. The 23-year-old also extended his hitting streak to nine games. Zach Coppola carries an 11-game hit streak after going 3-for-4 with a walk.
Despite the loss, Clearwater (22-16) maintains a one-game lead over the Dunedin Blue Jays in the FSL North.
The Threshers jumped ahead to open the ballgame facing Cody Stashak (1-3). Coppola walked, and Cornelius Randolph knocked a single to right to set up men at the corners. Damek Tomscha grounded into a double play, but that permitted Coppola to score the night's first run.
Fort Myers (18-20) tied it immediately in the bottom half, when Max Murphy launched a leadoff home run to center off Jose Taveras. The long ball was the first surrendered by Taveras (4-2) this season.
The Miracle pushed ahead in the second, when Brian Navaretto was hit by a pitch and Nelson Molina tripled to right to make it 2-1, Fort Myers.
Drew Stankiewicz and Emmanuel Marrero both walked to start the third, and after the catcher Navarreto picked Stankiewicz off second, Coppola singled to put runners at the corners. Randolph came through with a sacrifice fly to bring the teams even at two apiece.
In the bottom half, the Miracle broke ahead for good.
Bradley Strong led off with a home run to right-center, kicking off a string of four-straight extra base hits. Alex Perez and Chris Paul knocked back-to-back doubles, and Zander Wiel tripled home Paul to make it a 5-2 game.
Taveras was tagged for a season-high five runs on seven hits and a walk in his five innings of work.
Deivi Grullon singled home Tomscha to bring Clearwater to within two in the eighth, but the Miracle responded with two more runs off Edgar Garcia to expand their advantage to 7-3.
Game two of the series will take place on Tuesday night, when Franklyn Kilome (2-2) faces off against David Fischer (2-2). First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.