JUPITER - Pat Dean returned from the disabled list led Fort Myers to a 6-1 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals Saturday night.
Dean pitched five innings and allowed just one run on three hits with four strikeouts. After giving up a base hit to James Ramsey to lead off the first inning, Dean retired 10 in a row until giving up back-to-back hits in the fourth inning. With a 2-0 advantage, Chris Edmondson singled off Dean and then Alan Ahmady doubled down the left field line to score Edmondson from first.
Holding a one-run lead with two out in the sixth, Angel Morales earned a walk off Palm Beach starter Kyle Hald. Cardinals manager Johnny Rodriguez went to the bullpen for Ryan Copeland to face Daniel Santana. On a 2-2 pitch, Santana lined a single into left and scored Copeland for a 3-1 Miracle lead.
Fort Myers erased the drama of the game with three runs in the eighth inning. Santana extended the advantage to 4-1 with a solo home run over the left field fence. Levi Michael then walked and, after a Lance Ray fly out, Josmil Pinto also earned a free pass.
With two on, Danny Rams singled up the middle to plate Michael. The next pitch from Drew Benes to Jhon Goncalves missed inside, but Johnny Rodriguez came flying out of the dugout arguing the call and was ejected. After the fervor died down, Goncalves roped the next pitch into left to drive in a run and give Fort Myers a 6-1 advantage.
Over the final four innings, the Miracle bullpen of Ryan O'Rourke, Ricky Bowen and Michael Tonkin yielded just one hit to cruise to victory.
Fort Myers had taken the early 2-0 lead on RBI plate appearances from Ray and Anderson Hidalgo. Ray extended his hit streak to 10 games with a run-scoring single in the third and four batters later Hidalgo earned a bases loaded walk.
Hald (3-3) was the losing pitcher for Palm Beach.
The Miracle (53-69, 25-30) go for a sweep of the Cardinals (55-61, 24-32) at 5:05 p.m. Sunday