The Fort Myers Miracle avoided a sweep against the St. Lucie Mets Saturday at Hammond Stadium. Three pitchers combined to achieve a four-hit shutout over the Mets and the offense delivered with two outs to lift the Miracle to a 4-0 victory.
The Miracle struck in the bottom of the second inning off Mets starter Domingo Tapia. Travis Harrison continued his hot streak at the plate with an infield single. Then Max Kepler split the gap between center and right field with a RBI double to plate Harrison.
The following inning, the Miracle loaded the bases with two outs and squeezed one run out of the threat. Jorge Polanco led off with a single and ended up at third after back-to-back walks to Dalton Hicks and Adam Brett Walker. Polanco would jog home on a balk from Tapia (1-2) on a 1-0 pitch to Mike Gonzales.
Fort Myers ticked a third run on the board off reliever Paul Sewald. Polanco led off with a base hit. Two outs and a walk to Gonzales later, Polanco raced across the plate on a wayward pickoff attempt at first base by catcher Albert Cordero to put the score at 3-0.
Harrison supplied the Miracle with a fourth and final run in the eighth frame against Mets reliever Julian Hilario. After Gonzales reached with a single and was replaced on the bases by John Murphy, Harrison placed a double into right-center and drove in Murphy for an RBI, his fourth in the past two games.
Harrison is 12-for-25 in his last six games with seven RBI and has raised his batting average 142 points to .309 over that stretch.
Southpaw David Hurlbut dominated the Mets lineup in his first start of the season. Hurlbut (1-0) completed five innings, walking three and striking out a batter while surrendering two hits.
Tim Shibuya and Brian Gilbert split the remaining four innings, sustaining the shutout and only allowing a combined four base runners. Gilbert notched his third save of the year in a two-inning effort permitting only a pair of hits.
Tapia took the loss for the Mets. The right-hander pitched four innings and allowed two earned runs on three hits.
The entire Florida State League enjoys an off day on Sunday for the Easter holiday. Play resumes for the Miracle on Monday as the team hits the road for two games against the Jupiter Hammerheads.