DAYTONA - The Fort Myers Miracle defeated the Daytona Cubs 5-3 Saturday night.
The Cubs scratched across a run in the first inning off Miracle starter D.J. Baxendale. Marco Hernandez earned a lead-off walk and then stole second base. After Baxendale (4-1) struck out Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber yanked a 1-2 pitch through the right side that plated Hernandez.
In the fourth, the Miracle plated a pair of runs off Cubs starter Tayler Scott. With one out, Adam Brett Walker sliced a double into right center field. Mike Gonzales then laced a single into right to bring in Walker and tie the game. After a ground out to third by Stuart Turner pushed Gonzales to second, Max Kepler beat out an infield hit to move runners to the corners. Then, on an 0-1 pitch from Scott, Niko Goodrum sent a line drive into center field for a two-out, RBI single to put Fort Myers in front 2-1.
Gonzales struck again in the top of the fifth against Scott. Jorge Polanco led off with a walk then scooted to third on a single into center by Travis Harrison. Scott then got Dalton Hicks to fly out to center and struck out Walker. With two down, Gonzales ripped a 2-2 pitch down into right for a two-run single, 4-1.
Daytona got a run back off Baxendale in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 4-2 game. Billy McKinney started the frame with a single, then was doubled to third by Gioskar Amaya. McKinney then trotted home on a RBI ground out to short by Jordan Hankins.
Kepler coaxed a bases loaded walk in the seventh to push the Miracle lead to 5-2.
Baxendale gave up another run to the Cubs in the seventh on a double by Hankins. In a quality start, Baxendale struck out seven and gave up three runs on five hits with three walks over seven innings.
Madison Boer pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless work out of the Miracle pen and Steven Gruver struck out Marco Hernandez to end the game in the ninth. Gruver faced just one batter to record his second save of the season.
Scott went five innings and allowed four runs on two walks and two strikeouts for the Cubs.
The Miracle (59-37, 18-9) return to Hammond Stadium Sunday to open a four-game set with the Brevard County Manatees.