A crowd of Sanibel Island Night 4,289 witnessed a 10-3 Lakeland Tigers win Wednesday night over the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium.
Fort Myers bats awakened with two runs off Lakeland starter Jake Thompson in the bottom of the third inning. Stuart Turner led off with a double to center field and moved to third on Niko Goodrum's single. Jorge Polanco grounded into a forceout which deleted Goodrum, but brought Turner home.
Polanco advanced to second on a throwing error by shortstop Jared Reaves. Eddie Rosario followed an out later with an RBI single that nicked the glove of first baseman James Robbins, plating Polanco and putting the Miracle up 2-0.
Lakeland answered with four runs the following inning. Curt Powell doubled and Jeff McVaney smacked a two-base hit to bring him home. With Connor Harrell and Austin Green aboard and two outs, Robbins took starter D.J. Baxendale deep for a three-run homer to give Lakeland a 4-2 lead.
The Tigers added two more runs in the fifth. Baxendale (0-1) struggled with his command, allowing a RBI double to Powell scoring Tyler Hanover from second and a sacrifice fly to McVaney. Lakeland's lead rose to 6-2.
Baxendale's start was his first 2014 appearance on the Miracle squad. He took the loss after five innings and six earned runs including one homer.
Alex Wimmers took over for Baxendale in the sixth. The righty was tagged with two unearned runs in the seventh after an error by right fielder Adam Brett Walker allowed a pair of Lakeland baserunners to score. The Tigers' lead extended to 8-2.
Wimmers allowed two more runs in the eighth to grant the Tigers a 10-2 advantage.
The Miracle picked up a final run in the eighth off Logan Ehlers. Goodrum singled and Polanco reached on a throwing error by third baseman Hanover. Stephen Wickens then grounded into a double play which allowed Goodrum to come home and brought the score to 10-3.
The Miracle (34-24) meet the Tigers (38-21) for the second of four games Thursday at 7:05 p.m.