The Fort Myers Miracle used power and speed to ignite a 6-5 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals Saturday night at Hammond Stadium and snap a three-game losing streak.
Pinch-runner Daniel Santana scored from first base on a double by Oswaldo Arcia in the bottom of the ninth to give the Miracle a walk-off win on a fireworks night.
Santana was held up at third, but took off for home when right fielder Michael Swinson's relay through missed the cutoff man. Third baseman Jeremy Patton found the ball and threw it home, but Santana slipped his hand on top of home plate before being tagged by catcher Geoffrey Klein.
Ricky Bowen got the win for the Miracle while Chase Reid suffered the loss for the Cardinals.
Michael Gonzales blasted a two-run home run in the fifth to tie the game 3-3 and Lance Ray added a solo homer in a game that was delayed for more than an hour before it started because of rain.
Once play began, the Miracle grabbed a 1-0 lead when Arcia doubled to lead off the second and scored on a two-out base hit by Anderson Hidalgo.
Palm Beach scored the next three. Starlin Rodriguez doubled off of starter Jhon Garcia in the third to plate Mike O'Neill and tie the game.
The Miracle ran into big trouble in the fourth. Garcia left the game after suffering an apparent arm injury on the fourth pitch of the inning. Reliever Edgar Ibarra came in and issued three walks and threw two wild pitches which led to two runs and a 3-1 Palm Beach lead.
Gonzales gave the Miracle new life in the fifth when he belted a towering two-run homer to center to tie the game. Angel Morales followed with a bunt single and moved up to third when Cardinals starter Todd McInnis threw wildly to first and down the right field line.
Morales scored to give Fort Myers a 4-3 lead when Levi Michael lifted a sac-fly to left.
Ray lined his team-leading sixth homer of the year over the wall in right in the sixth inning to put the Miracle up 5-3.
The Cardinals answered in the top of the seventh. They loaded the bases on Ibarra and chased him with one out. Bowen came in and threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score and Jonathan Rodriguez tied the game 5-5 when his sac-fly drove in Starlin Rodriguez.
The tie score held until Arcia and Santana came through with their heroics in the ninth.
Fans in attendance Saturday can re-use their tickets from the game for any other Miracle game this season, with the exception of a fireworks game.
The Miracle (19-30) try to take the rubber game of the series when the two teams meet again on at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
Miracle Record: 18-30
Home: 10-15 Away: 8-15 Streak: L-3
Cardinals 6, Miracle 2
Miracle 6, Cardinals 5
Upcoming Miracle Games
May 27 - vs. Palm Beach, 1:05 p.m.
May 29 - at Bradenton, 6:30 p.m.
May 30 - at Bradenton, 6:30 p.m.
June 1 - vs. Daytona, 7:05 p.m.
June 2 - vs. Daytona, 6:05 p.m.
June 3 - vs. Daytona, 7:05 p.m.
June 4 - vs. Daytona, 7:05 p.m.
June 5 - at Tampa, 7 p.m.
June 6 - at Tampa, 7 p.m.
June 7 - at Tampa, 7 p.m.
June 8 - at Tampa, 7 p.m.
June 9 - at Palm Beach, 6:35 p.m.
June 10 - at Palm Beach, 5:05 p.m.
June 11 - at Palm Beach, 6:35 p.m.