PORT ST. LUCIE, - The Fort Myers Miracle rebounded from their first loss of the season to take game one of a three-game series with the St. Lucie Mets 11-8 Thursday night.
In a game that featured three lead changes and two tie scores, Miracle first baseman Kennys Vargas' two-out, two-run double down the right field line in the seventh inning gave Fort Myers the lead for good.
The Miracle started off quickly with a leadoff double by A.J. Pettersen in the first inning off Mets starter Noah Syndergaard. After Angel Morales and Eddie Rosario were retired, Miguel Sano launched a 1-0 pitch well over the wall in straightaway left to put the Miracle on top 2-0. The home run is Sano's fifth in 14 games and the third baseman has now driven in 14 runs.
St. Lucie answered with a run in the bottom of both the first and second innings off Miracle starter Madison Boer. The Mets got an RBI triple from Matt Reynolds in the first and a run-scoring base hit from Gilbert Gomez in the second.
Tied at 2-2, Fort Myers broke away briefly in the top of the third with a four-hit, five-run outburst on Syndergaard. Michael Gonzales drove in two with a two-out triple off the base of the center field wall, Vargas followed with an RBI single and Kyle Knudson knocked home a pair on a double into right field.
Syndergaard left after the third and received a no decision with seven earned runs on eight hits, two walks and a couple of strikeouts.
Boer also struggled in the third inning. The Mets touched up Boer for five runs including a two-run homer by Matt Reynolds. Boer left after 2 1/3 innings allowing seven runs on six hits, four walks and fanned two.
In the fourth, the Mets took their first lead, 8-7, on a solo home run by Aderlin Rodriguez off Miracle reliever Nelvin Fuentes.
After Vargas' two-run double in the 7th, the Miracle added a run in the eighth on a Sano RBI single and another in the ninth on a bloop hit from Stephen Wickens.
Ryan O'Rourke (4-0) picked up another win after tossing a pair of scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. Zack Jones came on in the eighth to complete a two inning save, his fifth of the season.
The Miracle (13-1) return to Tradition Field at 6:30 p.m. Friday against the Mets (9-5).