PORT CHARLOTTE - The Charlotte Stone Crabs scored four runs in the eighth inning to defeat the Fort Myers Miracle, 6-4, at Charlotte Sports Park on Tuesday evening.
Kes Carter put Charlotte in the lead in the eighth inning with a three-run homer off of Miracle reliever Tim Shibuya. After a run-scoring single by Marty Gantt cut Fort Myers' lead to 4-3, Carter launched a 1-0 pitch from Shibuya (1-2) over the fence in right field to put the Stone Crabs on top for good.
Parker Markel allowed a hit in the ninth to Levi Michael, but used a double play and a strikeout to record his first save of the year.
Fort Myers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning with a pair of runs. Levi Michael singled off Stone Crabs starter Roberto Gomez to start the inning. Then, Gomez issued a four-pitch walk to Jorge Polanco. After striking out Dalton Hicks, Adam Brett Walker poked a base hit through the right to score Michael and give the Miracle a 1-0 lead.
The run batted in was Walker's 11th of the season. The next hitter, Mike Gonzales, drove in Fort Myers' second run of the inning with an RBI ground out to first bringing Polanco home.
Charlotte picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth against Miracle starter Jason Wheeler. Marty Gantt led off with a double that clanked off the wall in right center. Then, Kes Carter singled up the middle to score Gantt, 2-1. Wheeler would have to work out of a bases loaded jam, but induced a double play from Leonardo Reginatto to escape the inning.
In the sixth, Patrick Leonard hit Charlotte's first homer of the night on a 2-1 pitch from Wheeler to tie the game, 2-2.
The Miracle went ahead 4-2 in the eight. With the bases loaded and one out, Max Kepler singled off Stone Crabs reliever Marcus Jensen to push Fort Myers into the lead. Then, Travis Harrison picked up a RBI on a sacrifice fly to right.
Jensen (2-0) left the game as the pitcher of record for the loss, but Charlotte's four-run bottom of the eighth made him the winning pitcher.
Gomez and Wheeler each went six innings and received no decisions. Gomez gave up two runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. Wheeler allowed a pair of runs on eight hits with two walks and fanned three.
The Miracle (7-5) wrap up the series with Charlotte (4-8) on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. at Charlotte Sports Park. Fans can listen to breakfast and baseball with the 'Voice of the Miracle' Brice Zimmerman beginning at 9:45 a.m. with the Head Quarters Men's Haircuts pregame show.