TAMPA - The Fort Myers Miracle five-game winning streak came to and end in a 6-1 loss to the Tampa Yankees Thursday night at Steinbrenner Field.
The Yankees scored two runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings off Miracle starter D.J. Baxendale. In the third, Cito Culver hit a bloop single into right field, but sat at first base while Baxendale retired Trent Garrison and Anderson Feliz on fly balls to center. Danny Oh then doubled a 1-1 pitch down the right field line with Culver on the move get the Yankees on the board. Jose Rosario followed with a single up the middle to bring in Oh.
In the fourth, Tampa struck with two outs. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Culver moved up to second on a single by Garrison. Feliz then laced a triple into left center to score two more Yankee runs and put Tampa up 4-0.
Greg Bird added to the Tampa advantage with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. After a lead-off single from Rosario, Bird hit his seventh home run of the season on the first pitch from Baxendale. Lasting five innings, Baxendale gave up six runs on nine hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
The Miracle's only run came in the top of the fifth. After retiring the first 14 hitters of the game, Yankees starter Caleb Smith's perfect game bid came to an end on Travis Harrison's bunt single. Harrison then moved to second on a throwing error by Smith (2-0) and to third on a balk by the pitcher. Mike Gonzales then extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a RBI single down the first base line.
Smith went six innings and allowed just one run on two hits with five strikeouts.
The Miracle bullpen pitched three innings of scoreless relief. Alex Muren went two innings in his FSL debut with two punch outs. Brian Gilbert pitched a scoreless eighth and induced a double play.
The Miracle (63-38, 22-10) return to Steinbrenner Field to battle the Yankees (51-52, 18-15) at 7 p.m. Friday.