FORT MYERS - The Clearwater Threshers held off the Fort Myers Miracle, 5-3 at Hammond Stadium on Tuesday night in front of 2,012 fans.
The Threshers scored a run in the first inning off Steven Gruver making a spot start for the Miracle. Roman Quinn led off with a single into right then stole second base. After Angelo Mora flew out, J.P. Crawford was retired on a bunt that moved Quinn to third. With two outs, Brandon Short singled up the middle to plate Quinn and give Clearwater a 1-0 advantage.
In the second, Clearwater struck again for a run. Harold Martinez recorded a base hit into center. A Chris Serritella ground out to second moved Martinez to second and then Gruver issued a walk to Gabriel Lino. After striking out Anthony Phillips for the second out, Gruver allowed a RBI single from Quinn through the right side, 2-0.
Fort Myers answered in the bottom of the second. Travis Harrison was hit by a pitch from Clearwater starter Colin Kleven. Max Kepler then rolled a single up the middle to put runers on the corners. Stuart Turner then lifted a fly ball to center to bring in Harrison on a sacrifice fly, 2-1.
In the fourth, the Miracle tied the game. Harrison led off with a walk and then moved to third on another Kepler single. Turner then grounded out to second base to bring in Harrison and even the score, 2-2.
After pitching two scoreless innings, Miracle reliever Alex Muren allowed a pair of runs in the sixth inning. Crawford started the frame with a single up the middle and moved to third on a double by Short. After striking out Brian Pointer, Muren (0-1) got Martinez to ground out to second, but Crawford scored to put Clearwater in front. After a walk to Serritella, Lino singled up the middle to score Short and give the Threshers a 4-2 lead.
The Miracle crept back into the game in the eighth. Jason Kanzler led off with a walk against Clearwater reliever Lee Ridenhour. After Byron Buxton flew out to right, Levi Michael bounced a single through the middle to put runners at first and second. Kanzler then stole third with Dalton Hicks at the plate. Hicks then brought in a run with a ground out to second, 4-3.
The Threshers restored a two-run lead in the top of the ninth with a two-out, RBI single from Brian Pointer off Miracle reliever Brian Gilbert.
Fort Myers loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Cody Forsythe struck out the side to record his second save of the season.
The Miracle (64-41, 24-13) host Clearwater (33-73, 16-22) at 7:05 p.m. at Hammond Stadium.