TAMPA - Greg Bird delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning to hand the Tampa Yankees a walk-off win 4-3 over the Fort Myers Miracle at Friday night.
The Yankees broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh inning. After six scoreless frames, Miracle starter Tim Shibuya issued his first walk of the game to lead-off hitter Jose Rosario. Shibuya then struck out Cito Culver, but gave up a ground rule double to Trent Garrison down the left field line. With runners at second and third, Anderson Feliz hit a grounder to second base with the infield drawn in. Levi Michael fielded and threw home, but Rosario slid in safely to put the Yankees up 1-0.
Shibuya received a no decision after seven innings and yielding just one run on six hits. Shibuya stuck out six and walked two.
Fort Myers tied the game in the eighth inning. With one out, Michael coaxed a walk from Yankees reliever Taylor Garrison. Nate Roberts struck out for the second out, but Dalton Hicks lifted a single into right field to put runners at the corners. Adam Brett Walker then hit a chopper to third base. Eric Jagielo charged, but had no play and Walker drove in his 75th run of the season to tie the game 1-1.
The Miracle jumped ahead with a pair of runs in the top of the ninth off Yankees reliever Cesar Vargas. Stuart Turner led off with a single up the middle and was sacrificed to second by Tyler Grimes. Aderling Mejia then rolled a base hit through the left side and Turner beat Aaron Judge's throw from right. Advancing to second on the throw, Mejia round ed the bases to score two pitches later. Byron Buxton ripped an 0-1 pitch down the third base line to plate Mejia and give the Miracle a 3-1 advantage.
Manager Doug Mientkiewicz turned to Madison Boer out of the Miracle bullpen in the bottom of the ninth. Boer (1-2) gave up a lead-off single to Culver and walked Garrison. After getting Feliz to fly out to left, Danny Oh singled to left. With the bases loaded and one out, Mientkiewicz brought in Tyler Jones. The Yankees closed the Miracle lead to one run on a sacrifice fly from Judge 3-2.
Bird stepped to the plate with runners at first and second. While at the dish, a Jones wild pitch moved Garrison to third and Oh to second. Then, on a 1-2 pitch, Bird hit a line drive that bounced down in right field to score two runs and complete the comeback, walk-off win.
Despite giving up two runs on four hits in the top of the ninth, Vargas (2-0) picked up the win.
The Miracle (63-39, 22-11) return at 6 p.m. for game three with the Yankees (52-52, 19-15).