Gonzales slam caps Miracle 13-4 rout of Jupiter
Offense churns out 13 runs on 13 hits, Miracle improve to 3-0
Special to the Breeze
The Fort Myers Miracle put on an impressive offensive show in front of a home opener crowd of 8.411 Saturday night, plowing under the Jupiter Hammerheads 13-4.
Fort Myers plated eight runs in the first inning. Levi Michael reached with a single to start it off and was forced home by a walk to Adam Brett Walker. Jorge Polanco and Dalton Hicks were granted a base before Walker. All three came around to score on consecutive RBI singles by Max Kepler, Mike Gonzales and Travis Harrison. Niko Goodrum rounded out the inning with a three-run double to center, bringing his season total to five.
Bats on both sides remained quiet until the fourth. Jupiter tallied one run in the top half of the inning on an RBI double by Brett Lee.
The Miracle answered with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning. After chasing Hammerheads starter Jake Esch (0-1), the team showed no mercy to his successor Colby Suggs. With the bases packed, Stuart Turner was hit by a pitch to bring home Polanco and reload the bases for Gonzales.
Gonzales capped the inning and the Miracle run count with a first-pitch grand slam over the right field fence, his first homer of the year. The blast put the Miracle up 13-1. Gonzales finished the night 2-for-5 with five RBI.
Lee (1-0) kept the Hammerheads off the board until the sixth. The southpaw managed two consecutive ground outs, but failed to retire a third, concluding his outing with two earned runs off five hits and earning his first win. Matt Juengel slapped a single to left field and came around to score on a base hit.
Matt Tomshaw relieved Lee, retiring Josh Adams to minimize the damage. The Hammerheads scraped a run off Tomshaw in the top of the eighth.
Brian Gilbert made his Miracle debut in the ninth and surrendered a leadoff single before retiring the next three to end the game.
The Miracle (3-0) conclude the series with the Hammerheads (0-3) Sunday afternoon. Highly touted prospect Jose Berrios makes his Miracle debut on the mound.