A four-run eighth helped boost the Fort Myers Miracle to a 7-1 victory against the Bradenton Marauders Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium.
The Miracle (15-10) claimed sole possession of first place in the FSL South Division with the win.
The Marauders snagged a run in the second. Jordan Steranka knocked a lead-off triple off starter Matt Tomshaw and rounded the plate on a RBI ground out by Eric Wood.
Fort Myers tied the game 1-1 in the bottom of the third off Bradenton starter Jason Creasy. Travis Harrison doubled to left field and later Dalton Hicks drove him home with a single. Hicks has plated four in his past five games.
Tomshaw put up a strong effort for the Miracle in a spot start. The southpaw limited the Marauders to one run and five hits over four innings of work and received a no decision.
The Miracle broke the stalemate in the bottom of the sixth with Thomas Harlan on the mound. Hicks slapped a base hit to begin the inning and a batter later Niko Goodrum was granted a walk. Aderling Mejia delivered a two-run double to plate both, lifting the Miracle to a 3-1 lead.
Fort Myers opened the game up with four insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Adam Brett Walker singled to center. Then, a botched force attempt by first baseman Jose Osuna allowed Max Kepler to reach first and pushed Walker across home, putting the Miracle up 4-1. Stuart Turner reached on an error by second baseman Max Moroff and Levi Michael followed with an RBI single to plate Kepler. Travis Harrison raised his season RBI total to 15 by bringing the two base runners home and rounded out the score at 7-1.
Shibuya (2-2) earned the win after pitching two shutout innings and granting only one hit. Steven Gruver and Tyler Jones stayed the Bradenton bats for the remaining three innings with Jones earning a save for his work. In the seventh through the ninth innings, Bradenton managed only one more hit and fell victim to four strikeouts.
Harlan (0-1) took the loss for Bradenton after allowing six runs, two earned, over three innings.
The clubs meet for the final game of this series Wednesday night.