A trio of Charlotte Stone Crabs pitchers shut down Fort Myers 4-1 Friday night in front of 6,171 fans in the Miracle's next-to-last home game of the season at Hammond Stadium.
The Miracle (59-74, 31-35) host the Stone Crabs (54-78, 25-40) in the final game at Hammond Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Fireworks follow the game. The teams close out the season Sunday in Port Charlotte.
The Stone Crabs jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Miracle starter Cole Nelson in the third and held on the rest of the way. The only Miracle run came in the fifth inning on a solo home run by Steve Liddle.
Victor Mateo earned the win after spreading out six hits and Liddle's homer in 5 2/3 innings.
Theon Geith pitched 1 2/3 scoreless inning of relief and Lenny Linsky recorded the last five outs to close it out and get the save.
The Stone Crabs put runners on second and third with one out in the second. Phil Wunderlich plated the first run on a fielder's choice. Alejandro Torres later lifted an RBI sac-fly to right to make it 2-0.
Nelson loaded the bases in the third with no outs, but struck out David Wendt and Cody Rogers. Daniel Santana booted a ground ball at short that led to two unearned runs.
Liddle made it 4-1 with his homer in the fifth and the Miracle would later load the bases with two outs. However, Mateo got Levi Michael to ground out to end the inning.
The Miracle threatened in the eighth and ninth, but both times Linsky induced double play balls to quiet the threats.