PORT CHARLOTTE - Stuart Turner's run-scoring triple in the top of the 10th inning helped the Fort Myers Miracle complete a three-game sweep of the Charlotte Stone Crabs with a 7-6 win Tuesday at Charlotte Sports Park.
The victory is the Miracle's first in extra innings this season. After giving up a 6-5 lead in the ninth, the Miracle rallied in the top of the 10th. With one out, Travis Harrison picked up his team-leading 20th double, Turner then sliced a line drive to right field. Julian Ridings let the ball bounce past him to the outfield wall and Harrison scored easily.
Mason Melo-takis recorded the final three outs to earn his first save of the season. Tyler Jones, who blew the save in the ninth, picked up his first win of the year and is now 1-1.
In a game that featured multiple ties and lead changes, Patrick Leonard opened the scoring in the first inning for the Stone Crabs off Miracle starter D.J. Baxendale with a two-run homer. Tyler Goeddel led off with a single, but was caught stealing by Turner. Baxendale then issued a walk to Thomas Coyle. Leonard launched a low line drive that remained fair down the left field line to give the Crabs a 2-0 lead.
The Miracle stormed back with three runs in the top of the second. Mike Gonzales singled off Stone Crabs starter Austin Pruitt. Turner doubled to left to put runners at second and third. After Dalton Hicks struck out, Pruitt surrendered a two-run single to Max Kepler to tie the game at 2-2. Advancing to second on a throw home, Kepler moved to third on a bunt by Tyler Grimes. Mejia then delivered a two-out RBI base hit into shallow right field to bring in Kepler and give the Miracle a one-run lead.
Charlotte drew even at 3-3 on a RBI double by Ariel Soriano in the bottom of the second.
Trading blows, the Miracle pushed across two runs in the top of the third. With one out, Lance Ray doubled to left. A ground out by Gonzales moved Ray to third. Turner then dropped a fly ball to right in front of Julian Ridings to make it 4-3. Hicks stood in while Turner swiped second base. Hicks then drove Turner in with an RBI hit to right field and a 5-3 lead.
Baxendale surrendered a run in the bottom of the third. Coyle began the inning with a triple to right field. Leonard then grounded to short to plate Coyle. The Stone Crabs picked up another run to draw even in the seventh on a two-out RBI double by Maxx Tissenbaum.
Finishing with no decision, Baxendale was done after giving up the tying run. Baxendale went 4 2/3 innings with five runs allowed on eight hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
In the ninth against Charlotte reliever Jose Molina, Grimes led off with an infield hit to short. Grimes then swiped second base and a wild pitch moved him to third with no outs. Mejia dropped a base hit into the outfield to bring in Grimes and give Fort Myers a 6-5 lead.
The Crabs rallied with two outs. With two on, Ariel Soriano, down to a final strike, scooped a slider down the left field line to score the game-tying run and force extra innings.
The Miracle (45-30, 4-2) return to Hammond Stadium Wednesday to open a six-game homestead, three each against St. Lucie and Palm Beach.
NOTES: Miracle shortstop Jorge Polanco and pitcher Jose Berrios were both honored by the Florida State League as Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for the week of June 16-22.
Polanco, 20, hit in all seven games during the week, going 12-for-27 (.444) with a double, triple and home run. He drove in three runs and scored four. Registering multiple hits in five of the seven games and the last four consecutively, Polanco leads the Miracle with 21 multi-hit games this season.
Berrios, 20, made one start during the week on June 17. Going seven innings, Berrios yielded just one hit to the Bradenton Marauders with two walks and nine strikeouts. He has compiled a 7-2 record in 13 starts with an ERA of 2.09; fifth-best in the FSL.
Over 77 1/3 innings, Berrios has allowed just 18 earned runs and 21 walks with 90 strikeouts.
On Friday, the Miracle will induct Jorge Posada, Sr. into the Killebrew Root Beer Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame at Hammond Stadium. Posada is the 10th inductee in the seventh year of the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame.
Prior to a 7:05 p.m. game with the St. Lucie Mets, Posada will be honored in a pre-game ceremony at the scouts wall at the entrance to the stadium. This unique honor is given to those who exist at the very foundation of player development for the Major Leagues. Posada will be commemorated with a bronze plaque, designed by the acclaimed US Bronze and placed on display at Hammond Stadium.
In the last seven years, Fort Myers inductees have included: Terry Ryan (Minnesota Twins), Dave Yoakum (Chicago White Sox), Al Goldis (long time scout), John Barr (San Francisco Giants), Tom Kotchman (Los Angeles Angels), Rudy Santin (San Francisco Giants), Jack Gillis (Colorado Rockies) and Dan Jennings (Miami Marlins).