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17th-inning grand slam tops Miracle

July 19, 2014
Special to the Breeze , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

DAYTONA - Rock Shoulders hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 17th inning early Saturday morning to give the Daytona Cubs an 11-7 comeback win over the Fort Myers Miracle in a game that began Friday night, ending the Miracle's seven-game win streak.

Tied 7-7 for 8 1/2 extra innings, the Cubs loaded the bases on singles by Billy McKinney and Wes Darvill and an intentional walk to Marco Hernandez off Miracle reliever Brian Gilbert. On an 0-2 pitch, Shoulders hit a towering drive down the right field line that cleared the bases and completed a comeback by the Cubs.

The Miracle jumped on Cubs starter Rob Zastryzny in the first inning for three runs. Byron Buxton led off with a single up the middle on the first pitch of the game. Then, Jorge Polanco rolled a base hit down the third base line to put runners at first and second. On a 1-1 pitch from Zastryzny, Nate Roberts crushed a double into right center to clear the bases and give Fort Myers a two-run lead.

Dalton Hicks then stepped up and poked a double down the left field line to plate Roberts and complete a three-run inning.

Daytona picked up a run in the bottom of the first off Miracle starter Brett Lee. With bases loaded and two out, Bijan Rademacher laced a single up the middle to get the Cubs on the board, 3-1.

In the second, the Miracle continued to hit Zastryzny hard. Max Kepler led off with a double to left. Tyler Grimes laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Kepler to third. Buxton took the first pitch from Zastryzny to left for a two-run homer, his third of the season for a 5-1 lead.

Lee went five innings in a no decision allowing just the one run on four hits with a season-high six walks.

Fort Myers added two more in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Buxton lined a single to left off Cubs reliever Justin Amlung. Then, on a 1-2 pitch, Jorge Polanco launched a two-run homer to deep right to put the Miracle up 7-1.

The Cubs got a run in the sixth on a RBI single from Darvill and then three in the seventh off Miracle reliever Todd Van Steensel to cut the lead to 7-5.

In the eighth, Kyle Schwarber's solo shot to right field off Miracle reliever Madison Boer brought the Cubs to a one-run deficit.

The Miracle turned to closer Tyler Jones in the ninth, but Wilson Contreras led off with a solo homer to tie the game 7-7.

The game remained deadlocked for the next seven innings. The Miracle stranded 10 runners in the extra frames including the bases loaded in the top of the 17th.

The Miracle set season highs for an individual game in hits (23), strikeouts at the plate (23), men left on base (20) and double plays (5). The game consumed five hours and 41 minutes.

The Cubs and Miracle combined for 18 runs, 41 hits, 34 left on base and 39 strikeouts. Polanco finished the game 5-for-8 with a homer, two runs and two RBI. Buxton was 4-for-6 with a homer, three runs and two RBI. All nine hitters in the Miracle lineup had a hit.

Fort Myers used eight men out of the bullpen and nine pitchers overall.

The Miracle (58-37, 17-9) return for the series finale against the Cubs (42-52, 16-10) Saturday night.



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