The Fort Myers Miracle returned home with high hopes Thursday, facing a team that's just one game behind in the standings. Unfortunately, a ninth-inning rally ended with the bases loaded in a 2-1 loss to the Charlotte Stone Crabs.
The Miracle and Stone Crabs are now tied at the top of the South Division with identical 12-8 records.
Chris Parmelee (2-for-4) doubled to lead off the ninth, and after a sacrifice bunt scored from third on a Steve Singleton (2-for-4) RBI single to make it 2-1. The Miracle loaded the bases with one out against relievers Rayner Oliveros and Paul Phillips, who struck out Ben Revere and Joe Benson to end the threat and the game.
Miracle second baseman Chris Cates shows the ball in his glove after tagging Charlotte’s Jairo De La Rosa out in Thursday’s game at Hammond Stadium.
The Miracle stranded one runner per inning from the second through the eighth, for a total of 10 men left on base. The Miracle had chances against the Crabs, but just couldn't find the key hits necessary.
Carlos Gutierrez was the hard-luck loser with five innings, two hits, one run, three walks, and four strikeouts.
Danny Lehmann was 2-for-2 with two walks and a double as he reached base in every plate appearance.
The four-game series continues Friday and Saturday at Charlotte Sports Park.