PORT CHARLOTTE - The Fort Myers Miracle have fallen from first place for the first time since April 19th after the Charlotte Stone Crabs rallied with three runs in the eighth inning to claim a 5-2 victory at Charlotte Sports Park Friday night.
Charlotte (13-8) now leads the Florida State League South Division by one game.
The Miracle (12-9) led for four innings and were tied in three others. The offense has been sputtering in this series with just three runs.
Blair Erickson took the blown save and the loss, despite striking out the first two batters in the eighth. After he allowed a two-out hit to Matt Fields, Miracle manager Jeff Smith went to the bullpen. Alex Burnett gave up four straight hits before retiring the eighth and final hitter in the inning.
Reid Fronk doubled as the first batter Burnett faced. Cody Cipriano ripped a two-RBI single into center field to put the Crabs ahead 4-2. Cipriano scored on a single by Nevin Ashley. Ryan Royster also singled before Omar Luna grounded out to Burnett to end the eighth.
The Miracle got on the board in the first inning on a two-out Chris Parmelee RBI single, and added another two-out RBI single by Chris Cates. All seven runs scored with two outs.
Deolis Guerra started for the Miracle and threw 5 1/3 with three hits, two runs (earned), three walks, and six strikeouts.
The third game of the series is Saturday Charlotte and the final game at Hammond Stadium Sunday.