FORT MYERS - Jose Berrios allowed just one hit and struck out nine to lead the Fort Myers Miracle to a 4-2 win over the Bradenton Marauders at Hammond Stadium on Tuesday night.
Fresh off starting the Florida State League All-Star Game on Saturday, Berrios delivered seven dominant innings. Surrendering just one hit, Berrios tallied nine strikeouts and retired 12 in a row from the fourth through the seventh.
Jorge Polanco broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning. Launching his fifth home run of the season off Bradenton starter John Kuchno, Polanco hit a 2-0 pitch into the stands in right field for a solo homer to lead off the inning.
Fort Myers Miracle shortstop Jorge Polanco (5) tries to turn a double play after avoiding a slide by Bradenton Marauders’ Josh Bell Tuesday night at Hammond Stadium. Polanco hit a solo home run to open the next inning. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Stephen Wickens followed with a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Lance Ray then doubled into right field to bring home Wickens and push the Miracle lead to 2-0. Kuchno (3-6) struck out Adam Brett Walker and retired Mike Gonzales on a fly ball to center field. Ray advanced to third and Stuart Turner walked to put runners on the corners. Dalton Hicks then ripped a base hit into right to score Ray and give the Miracle a 3-0 lead.
Fort Myers pushed the advantage to four runs in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Niko Goodrum singled to left off Bradenton reliever Ryan Hafner. Then, Goodrum swiped second bases. Tyler Grimes grounded out to third. On throw by Eric Wood, Goodrum raced to third. First baseman Jose Osuna then threw wildly to third allowing Goodrum to score.
Bradenton cut the Miracle lead in half in the top of the eighth. Berrios exited the game and Madison Boer entered out of the Miracle bullpen. Boer walked Max Moroff to begin the inning. Raul Fortunato singled and Jin-De Jhang grounded out to first to move the runners up to second and third. Jeff Roy drove in the first run of the game for the Marauders on a sacrifice fly. D.J. Crumlich followed with a single into right to cut the Miracle lead to 4-2. Boer retired Josh Bell on strikes to end the inning.
Tyler Jones allowed a walk and struck out one in a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory and earn his eighth save of the season.
Kuchno took the loss after allowing three runs on five hits, three walks and four in six innings.
The Miracle (40-28) hold a 0.5 game lead over the St. Lucie Mets going into the final game of the first half. Fort Myers hosts the Marauders (35-33) at Hammond Stadium at 7:05 p.m.