The Fort Myers Miracle and Palm Beach Cardinals split a doubleheader at JetBlue Park Saturday night in front of 5,197 fans. The Cardinals won game one 4-2 and the Miracle took game two 5-0.
In game one, the Cardinals produced two big swings against Miracle starter Aaron Slegers. With two out in the top of the fourth inning and the Miracle up 1-0, Luke Voit started a rally for the Cardinals with an infield hit. Bruce Caldwell coaxed a walk and Anthony Garcia was struck by a pitch to load the bases. David Washington then stepped up and hit a 2-0 pitch off the wall in left center to clear the bases and give the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Miracle pushed across a run to cut the Palm Beach lead to one. Adam Brett Walker led off with a walk against Cardinals starter Jimmy Reed. Max Kepler then doubled down the right field line to put runners at second and third with no outs. Stuart Turner rolled a grounder to short to force in Walker and moved Kepler over to third.
Reed (5-1) then retired Tyler Grimes on a pop up in foul ground and struck out Bryan Haar to strand Kepler at third base.
Voit added an insurance run for the Cardinals in the sixth inning with a solo homer. On a 1-0 pitch, Voit cleared the 43-foot fence in left field for his ninth home run of the season.
Reed went five innings for Palm Beach and gave up two runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Reed gave up a run in the first inning on a two-out, RBI double from Walker.
Iden Nazario pitched a scoreless sixth for the Cardinals and Robbie Shaban earned the save with two strikeouts in the seventh.
Slegers (2-1) went six innings for the Miracle and surrendered four runs on five hits with two walks and two punch outs. Nick Burdi tossed a scoreless seventh, but incited both benches to clear when he struck Aledmys Diaz. There were no ejections and Burdi finished the inning with a pair of strikeouts.
In game two, Matt Tomshaw dazzled with a seven-inning complete game shutout. Tomshaw (10-5) scattered four hits and fanned five.
The Miracle offense staked Tomshaw to an early lead with two runs in the first inning off Palm Beach starter Silfredo Garcia. Aderling Mejia earned a walk to start the game, then stole second. Cardinals catcher Gerwuins Velazco's throw down to second base trickled into center field and Mejia popped up and moved to third base. Niko Goodrum reached on a walk to put runners on the corners. Travis Harrison then dropped a soft line drive into right field to score Mejia from third. Dalton Hicks stepped up and lifted a fly ball to center that scored Goodrum and put the Miracle up 2-0.
Fort Myers added to the lead in the third inning. Jason Kanzler rolled a single through the middle for a base hit, then Mejia followed with a liner into right. With runners at first and second, Goodrum flew out to center field and Kanzler advanced to third. After Travis Harrison struck out, Mejia stole second.
Hicks then launched a 1-0 pitch off the Green Monster in left center field. Kanzler and Mejia scored and Hicks stood at second with a two RBI double. Walker then drilled a grounder up the middle to plate Hicks and push the Miracle lead to 5-0.
Tomshaw retired eight in a row from the final out of the fourth inning to the first out in the seventh. Mason Katz reached on a single, but Tomshaw got Ildemaro Vargas to hit a one-hopper right back to the pitcher. Tomshaw then started a 1-6-3 double play to end the game.
Garcia (6-3) took the loss after five innings and five runs given up on five hits.
The Miracle (73-52, 32-24) wrap up the season series with the Cardinals (69-55, 33-22) in the rubber match at JetBlue Park on Sunday.