The Fort Myers Miracle took both games of a doubleheader with the Tampa Yankees Sunday at Hammond Stadium. The Miracle won game one 3-0 and game two 8-4.
In game one, Jose Berrios dominated the Tampa lineup. Retiring the first 13 in a row to start the game, Berrios (5-2) did not allow a hit until a one out double by Matt Snyder bounced off the wall in right field. In a seven inning, one-hit complete game shutout, Berrios struck out a season-high 13 with no walks.
Allowing just two Yankees to reach base, Berrios faced two over the minimum and went to a three-ball count just one time.
The Miracle gave Berrios an early 1-0 lead with a run in the first inning. Playing in his first game in 2014, Stephen Wickens earned a one-out walk from Tampa starter Rafael De Paula. Wickens promptly stole second base on a swinging third strike from De Paula to Eddie Rosario. With two outs, Adam Brett Walker stroked a single through the left side to plate Wickens.
Aderling Mejia added to the lead with a RBI double in the second. With runners at first and second, Mejia lifted an 0-2 pitch into the gap in right center to score Dalton Hicks from second base, 2-0.
Fort Myers' final run in game one came in the fourth inning. With one out, Travis Harrison doubled into the left field corner. Mike Gonzales reached on an infield single to put runners on the corners. Jairo Rodriguez then collected a RBI for a third consecutive game with an infield hit to the shortstop Cito Culver. Harrison trotted home to push the Miracle lead to 3-0.
Berrios would slam the door by punching out five of the last six outs of the game and striking out the side in the seventh. Winning five of his last seven starts, Berrios has racked up 45 strikeouts in his last 31.1 innings pitched.
Gonzales went 2-for-3 in game one and extended his hitting streak to nine games.
De Paula (1-3) took the loss for the Yankees, giving up three runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
In game two, the Miracle blitzed Tampa starter James Pazos for four runs in the first inning. Mejia led off with an infield hit and Wickens followed with a single down the third base line to put runners on the corners. Rosario then served an 0-1 pitch into left to score Mejia.
After Walker struck out, Harrison hit a ground ball to second that was booted by Claudio Custodio and loaded the bases. Hicks then ripped a hanging breaking ball into the right field corner to clear the bases and give the Miracle a 4-0 lead.
Pazos (0-2) exited the game after recording just one out.
Fort Myers extended the lead in the fourth. With one down, Max Kepler doubled into left center field. Mejia followed with another two-bagger, to left center, that brought in Kepler, 5-0.
Tampa reliever Miguel Sulburan, a former Twins farmhand, struck out Wickens, but walked Rosario. Walker then grounded a full count pitch up the middle for a two-out, RBI single to give the Miracle a 6-0 advantage.
Matt Tomshaw started game two and faced the minimum through the first four innings allowing just one hit. In the fifth, a Hicks error at first opened the door for two unearned runs to score on a two-out, two-run single by Wes Wilson. Tomshaw (5-1) returned in the fifth, but gave up back-to-back doubles and a sacrifice fly to Greg Bird.
With the Miracle lead cut to 6-3, manager Doug Mientkiewicz turned to Tyler Jones out of the Fort Myers pen. Jones struck out Dante Bichette, Jr., but gave up consecutive singles. Jose Toussen's hit scored a run to draw the Yankees to a two-run deficit.
The Miracle returned fire in the sixth. Wickens and Rosario led off with back-to-back singles. Then, with Walker at the plate, the Miracle executed a double steal to move runners to second and third. Walker and Harrison recorded consecutive sacrifice flies to center to restore the Miracle lead to four, 8-4.
Jones worked a scoreless seventh for his fifth save of the season. Tomshaw earned the win going 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits with no walks and six punch outs.
Wickens ws 2-for-4 with two runs scored and stolen bag in game two. Rosario was 2-for-3 with a RBI, two runs, a swiped base and a walk.
The Miracle (33-22) hold a half-game lead in the Florida State League South Division and continue the series with Tampa (27-29) at Hammond Stadium at 7:05 p.m.