JUPITER - Adam Brett Walker and Travis Harrison hit back-to-back homers in a three-run second inning to help the Fort Myers Miracle to a 5-4 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals Thursday evening.
The Miracle put up three runs on Cardinals starter Kyle Helisek in the span of two pitches in the second inning. After Dalton Hicks reached on an error by the shortstop, Walker destroyed a first pitch for his 19th home run of the season. Walker's blast clanked halfway up the light pole in left center field and gave him a Florida State League leading 66 runs batted in.
On the next pitch from Helisek (4-4), Travis Harrison launched a solo home run to left field. Harrison's blast was his second of the season, 3-0.
Jorge Polanco added to the Miracle lead with a RBI single in the third. Niko Goodrum led off with a double that bounced in front of a diving Nick Martini in center field. Polanco then flared a 1-2 pitch into right field and Goodrum raced around third to score, 4-0.
Making his first start in the FSL, Ethan Mildren navigated five scoreless innings against the Cardinals lineup before allowing two runs in the sixth. Ildemaro Vargas started the inning with a double and Bruce Caldwell followed with a two-run homer to right field to cut the Miracle lead to 4-2.
Mildren (1-0) went 5.1 innings and two runs on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
Fort Myers added an important insurance run in the top of the eighth inning. Hicks drew a walk from Cardinals reliever Dixon Llorens. After striking out Walker, Harrison singled off Llorens to put runners at the corners. Reliever Danny Miranda entered for Palm Beach. Then, Max Kepler lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Hicks and push the Miracle lead to 5-2.
Harrison finished the game 3-for-4.
In the bottom of the eight, the Cardinals pushed across two runs against the Miracle bullpen. Steven Gruver retired David Popkins on a fly to right, but Martini doubled off the wall in right field. Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz went to the bullpen and brought in Brandon Peterson.
Peterson struck out Anthony Garcia for the second out, but surrendered a RBI double to Mason Katz and a run-scoring single from pinch-hitter Luke Voit to cut Fort Myers' lead to 5-4.
Closer Tyler Jones entered in the ninth inning and recorded a perfect frame. Jones struck out Caldwell to end the game and record his team-leading 12th save.
The Miracle (52-36, 11-8) return to Hammond Stadium to host the Dunedin Blue Jays for Zombie Night. First pitch is set at 7:05 p.m..