BRADENTON - The Fort Myers Miracle edged the Bradenton Marauders, 3-2, at McKechnie Field Tuesday night in a series opening win.
Miracle starter Brett Lee scattered 11 hits in seven innings to earn his 10th win of the season. Lee (10-4) walked one and struck out three while inducing three double plays from the Marauder lineup.
Bradenton got on the board first in the second inning.
Jose Osuna rolled a single up the middle and was sacrificed over to second on a bunt by Justin Howard. Eric Wood then lofted a hit into center field and put runners on the corners. Max Moroff then dropped a base hit into left to score Osuna, 1-0.
The Miracle gained a brief 2-1 lead in the third. With one out, Aderling Mejia blooped a single into right center field and Niko Goodrum followed with a bouncer through the right side. Travis Harrison then launched a fly ball to deep left center off Marauders starter Shane Carle (2-3). Howard ran down the drive, but lost control of the baseball after crashing into the wall. As the ball bounced free, Mejia scored and Harrison was credited with a RBI single, 1-1.
With Dalton Hicks at the plate, Goodrum took off for third base. Carle's throw bounced into the stands and Goodrum came around to score.
The Marauders did not allow Fort Myers' first lead to last long. In the bottom of the third, Osuna chopped a seeing eye single through the left side with runners at second and third to tie the game, 2-2.
In the fifth, Jason Kanzler got the Miracle offense restarted with a base hit up the middle. Mejia moved Kanzler to third with his third hit of the evening, a single through the right side. Goodrum then sent a fly ball off Carle to left field that scored Kanzler from third and put Fort Myers up for good, 3-2.
After seven innings from Lee, the Miracle turned to a pair of flame-throwing right-handers out of the pen.
The Minnesota Twins second round pick in 2014, Nick Burdi, made his second appearance for the Miracle and fanned one in a scoreless eight.
Zack Jones then registered a perfect ninth inning to record his first save of the season. Jones struck out Raul Fortunato to end the game.
The Miracle (75-52, 34-24) return to McKechnie Field today for the second of a three-game set against the Marauders (70-56, 35-22). Fans can listen to the action at www.miraclebaseball.com with the 'Voice of the Miracle' Brice Zimmerman.
The Head Quarters pregame show begins at 6:05 p.m. and first pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.
The final tilt of the three-game set will be Thursday. Gametime is set for 6:30 p.m. at McKechnie Field. The Miracle then trave to Charlotte for three games against the Rays.