JUPITER - The Fort Myers Miracle snapped a five-game losing streak with a 9-4 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals in the series opener Friday night.
The Miracle opened the scoring in the second inning when designated hitter Josmil Pinto launched a 2-2 breaking ball from Cardinals starter Seth Blair over the left field fence for his 12th home run of the season. Blair then walked Danny Ortiz, surrendered a hit to Kyle Knudson and walked Steve Liddle to load the bases.
Anderson Hidalgo pushed the early lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to score Ortiz. Jhon Goncalves delivered the first of two doubles on the night. Goncalves roped the first pitch from Blair down the left field line driving home two for a 4-0 advantage.
The Cardinals began to creep back in the game against Miracle starter Tom Stuifbergen. In the bottom of the second, Ronny Gil hit a two-out RBI to get Palm Beach on the board.
In the fifth, Cody Stanley blasted a two-run opposite field homer to bring the Miracle lead down to 4-3.
A one-run game until the eighth, the Miracle blew open the game with help from the Cardinals' defense. Lance Ray singled to extend his hitting streak to a season-best nine games and Pinto followed with his third hit of the evening. Ortiz and Knudson walked back-to-back to force in a run to make it 5-3.
Later, Jhon Goncalves was hit by a pitch to force in another run and extended the Miracle lead to 9-3 on Daniel Santana's ground ball error.
Stuifbergen (5-6) earned the win allowing three runs on nine hits with four strikeouts. Blair (0-2) was the losing pitcher.
The Miracle (52-69, 24-30) face the Cardinals (55-60, 24-31) at 5:35 p.m. Saturday at 5:35 p.m.