FORT MYERS - The Fort Myers Miracle split a doubleheader with the Tampa Yankees winning the first game, 7-6, and dropping game two, 6-5, on Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium.
In a game that was scheduled to go seven innings, it took eight nail-biting innings to decide the victor.
The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 lead, but the Miracle fought back to tie the game on two different occasions and win it 7-6 in the eighth on Levi Michael's walk-off single down the left field line.
Danny Rams, who drove in Lance Ray to tie the game 6-6 in the sixth, led off the eighth with a single off of Branden Pinder and scored the game-winning run. He went 3 for 4 with three singles.
Ricky Bowen worked two innings of scoreless relief to pick up the win. Pinder took the loss.
The Yankees used the long ball to take a big lead in the early innings. After hitting three home runs in the first game of the series, the Yankees got a two-run homer from Kyle Roller in the first to up their lead to 4-0.
J.R. Murphy added a solo blast in the second off of Miracle starter Madison Boer to push Tampa's lead to 5-0.
However, the Miracle fought back to tie the game with five hits in the second and were helped out by three Tampa errors in the frame.
Singles by Josmil Pinto, Jairo Perez and Rams loaded the bases. Andy Leer followed with a ground ball to third that Zach Wilson couldn't handle. The ball trickled into the outfield allowing two runs to score.
Daniel Santana cut the deficit to 5-4 when he lined a two-run single to right just over the outstretched arm of Hector Rabago. Santana then stole second base and scored to tied the game when Michael beat out an infield single and Roller lost track of the ball at first.
The tie game did not last long, however. Tampa answered in the third when Neil Medchill doubled off the wall in center and scored on a two-out base hit by Jose Mojica.
Meanwhile, Yankees starter Shane Greene was busy retiring 11 batters in a row. That came to an end when Kyle Knudson singled to right in the sixth. Ray was inserted as a pinch runner and scored on Rams' second hit of the ball game.
Boer and Greene received no-decisions. Boer gave up six runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out eight.
Greene worked 5 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs. Only two runs were earned and he also struck out eight.
In game two, the Miracle fell behind 4-0 in the first two innings with Tyson Blaser knocking three runs on a triple in the first and a solo home run from Ramon Flores in the second off starter Jose Gonzalez.
Trailing 5-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, Michael Gonzales began a one-out rally with a double into left center field. Anderson Hidalgo reached on a single and Daniel Santana had a base hit up the middle load the bases on Yankees reliever Rigoberto Arrebato.
Levi Michael stepped up and leveled off a single into left to drive in a run and cut the lead down to 5-2. Danny Ortiz followed with a chopper to first baseman Kyle Roller. A potential double play ball, Roller threw wide of the second base bag and two Miracle runs scored to bring Fort Myers to a one run deficit.
Knudson then avoided a double play with a ground ball to the right side plating Michael and tying the game 5-5.
In the top of the seventh, Flores put the Yankees ahead 6-5 with a solo homer, his second of the game, off of Miracle reliever Michael Tonkin. Mark Montgomery allowed a hit, but retired the side in the seventh inning to pick up the save.
The winning pitcher was Arrebato (4-2) and Tonkin (0-1) was tagged with the loss.
The Miracle (30-43, 2-4) host Tampa (33-39, 3-2) for the finale of the series on Wednesday evening at Hammond Stadium. First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. and fans are encouraged to wear their pajamas for A.M. in the P.M.; a celebration of the morning that will feature breakfast food all night long.
Fans can listen to each and every pitch on www.miraclebaseball.com with the "Voice of the Miracle" Brice Zimmerman and Adam MacDonald. The State Farm pregame show hits the air at 6:45 p.m.