ST. LUCIE - Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to send the St. Lucie Mets to a 5-4 victory over the Fort Myers Miracle on Tuesday evening at Tradition Field.
Holding onto a one-run lead, 4-3, Miracle reliever Corey Williams entered in the seventh as the third pitcher for Fort Myers. Kyle Johnson started the inning with a single into left field. T.J. Rivera laid down a sacrifice bunt and Williams (0-2) worked Plawecki to an 0-2 count. After fouling a pitch off his foot, Plawecki sent the next pitch over the fence in left center field on a line to give the Mets a 5-4 advantage.
Mets reliever T.J. Chism entered the game in the top of the eighth to induce a ground ball double play to get out of a jam. Chism then pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save of the season.
The Miracle jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third with four consecutive hits off Mets starter Rainy Lara. Opening the game with seven straight outs, Lara yielded a single up the middle to Jairo Rodriguez. Levi Michael doubled down the right field line to put runners at second and third with one out. Byron Buxton worked a full count from Lara before depositing a line drive into center field to score a pair of runs. Stephen Wickens followed with a base knock into right to plate Buxton. The single extended Wickens' hitting streak to eight games.
St. Lucie answered with a three-run inning in the fourth. The Mets benefitted from RBI singles by Charley Thurber and Rivera and Johnson added a sacrifice fly.
D.J. Hicks broke the tie in the sixth with his third homer of the season. On a 3-1 count from Lara, Hicks hit a line drive shot over the wall down the right field line to give the Miracle a 4-3 lead.
David Hurlbut started for the Miracle and received a no decision. Hurlbut, called up from Cedar Rapids before the game, allowed three runs on eight hits through four innings with four strikeouts. Nelvin Fuentes also pitched two scoreless frames for the Miracle bullpen in the fifth and sixth.
Buxton finished 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
The Miracle (70-46, 25-24) play the second of a three-game series against the Mets (64-49, 27-19) at Tradition Field at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Fans can listen to every pitch at www.miraclebaseball.com with the "Voice of the Miracle" Brice Zimmerman. The Square 1 Burgers & Bar pregame show begins at 6:15 p.m.