ST. LUCIE - The Fort Myers Miracle jumped on the St. Lucie Mets with three early runs en route to a 6-2 win Thursday night.
The Miracle scored a pair of runs in the first inning. Levi Michael walked to start the game off Mets starter Michael Fulmer. Michael then stole second base. Byron Buxton then legged out an infield hit and Michael moved to third. With Travis Harrison at the plate, Buxton swiped second base. The throw to second by Mets catcher Cam Maron rolled into center field and Michael trotted home on the error to score the first run of the game.
Fulmer got Harrison to ground out to short while Buxton moved over to third base. Then, Dalton Hicks sliced a double into the corner in left to bring in Buxton and push the Miracle lead to 2-0.
Fort Myers padded the lead in the second inning. Aderling Mejia led off with a single into left-center. With two out and Michael at the dish, Mejia stole second. Maron's throw sailed into center field and Mejia dashed to third. Michael then hit a grounder up the middle and beat the throw from Mazzilli as Mejia scored.
Michael delivered another two-out RBI in the fourth inning. With two down, Niko Goodrum lifted a single to left then stole second base. Michael then dumped a 1-2 pitch from Fulmer into left to score Goodrum for a 4-0 lead.
Miracle starter Ethan Mildren allowed two runs, a pair of solo homers, over six innings for the victory. In the fifth, Mildren (2-1) surrendered a homer to Gavin Cecchini and Jared King cleared the fence in the sixth. Mildren finished with two strikeouts and one walk while giving up just four hits.
Fort Myers regained a four-run advantage with a run each in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Goodrum led off with a single to right. After Mets reliever Jake Kuebler struck out Michael and Buxton, Goodrum decided to swipe second base. Maron's throw went into center field for a third time and Goodrum advanced to second. Watching the play in center, Miracle manager Doug Mientkiewicz, from the coaching box at third base, windmilled Goodrum home when Gilbert Gomez booted the wild throw as the backup in center field. Goodrum dove in safely at the plate to give the Miracle a 5-2 lead.
In the eighth, Adam Brett Walker launched an opposite field missile off Mets reliever Robert Coles for his Florida State League leading 23rd home run of the season. On a 1-0 pitch, Walker sent a rocket over the wall in right to make it 6-2.
Walker finished 2-for-4. Michael was also 2-for-4 with two RBI and two stolen bases. Fort Myers set a season-high in stolen bases with six.
Miracle relievers Alex Muren, Tyler Jones and D.J. Johnson each pitched a scoreless frame in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings respectively.
The rubber match between the Miracle (67-47, 26-19) and Mets (63-49, 23-20) begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday.