PORT CHARLOTTE - D.J. Baxendale and Matt Hauser combined to toss a second consecutive shutout by the Fort Myers Miracle pitching staff in an 8-0 win Friday over the Charlotte Stone Crabs at Charlotte Sports Park.
Reigning Florida State League Player of the Week D.J. Baxendale pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and recording three strikeouts. Baxendale (6-0) has now lowered his earned run average to 1.07.
Hauser entered in the eighth inning and was perfect in the final two innings.
The Miracle took a 3-0 lead in the first inning off Stone Crabs starter Ryan Carpenter. With two outs and the bases loaded, Angel Morales hit a deep line drive to center field that deflected off Charlotte center fielder Kes Carter's glove for a three-run triple.
In the second, Stephen Wickens delivered a second run-scoring triple for the Miracle. Wickens sent a line drive on the first pitch from Carpenter into right field. Drew Vettleson tried to make a diving catch, but the ball bounced past him and to the wall. John Murphy, who had reached on a single, scored to push the advantage to 4-0.
Fort Myers extended the lead to 7-0 with three runs in the fifth. Again, the Miracle struck with two outs. With Miguel Sano on first, Kennys Vargas hit line drive over the left field fence for his seventh home run of the season. Then, Morales recorded his second triple of the game and scored shortly afterwards on a double from Jairo Rodriguez.
Sano added a solo homer in the seventh. His lead leading eleventh of the year, Sano hit a screaming line drive over the left field fence off Crabs reliever Eliazer Suero.
The Miracle (30-10) return to Charlotte Sports Park to take on the Stone Crabs (16-24) Saturday.