BRADENTON - The Fort Myers Miracle launched three home runs in a 7-1 victory Wednesday night over the Bradenton Marauders.
The Miracle bats pounced on Marauders starter Jason Creasy in the first two innings. Aderling Mejia led off with a single up the middle then stole second base. Niko Goodrum earned a walk and Travis Harrison flew out to right field to advance Mejia to third. On a 3-1 pitch, Dalton Hicks hit a fly ball to right deep enough to allow Mejia to trot home from third for a sacrifice fly.
In the second, the first pitch from Creasy (6-9) to Max Kepler was deposited into the bleachers in right-center field. Kepler's fourth home run of the season gave the Miracle a 2-0 advantage and was the first of three Miracle homers on the evening.
The Miracle victimized Creasy again in the fourth. With two outs, Kepler coaxed a walk and Stuart Turner singled up the middle. Tyler Grimes then sent a 1-1 pitch from Creasy into the seats beyond the wall in left field for a three-run shot. Grimes' third home run of the season pushed the Miracle lead to 5-0.
Creasy last six innings and all five runs allowed were earned.
In the seventh, Jason Kanzler completed the power swell for the Miracle offense with a two-run shot off Bradenton reliever Tyler Sample. Grimes led off by slicing a triple into the gap in left center. Kanzler then sent an 0-1 pitch from Sample to the opposite field and onto the party deck in right center, 7-0. The homer for Kanzler was his third of the year.
Miracle starter Steven Gruver went five scoreless innings to pick up the win. Gruver (4-6) allowed just five hits and struck out three with no walks.
Alex Muren pitched two clean frames out of the Miracle pen in the sixth and seventh, but B.J. Hermsen gave up a run to the Marauders in the eighth. Eric Wood knocked in a two-out RBI with a single to right field. Brandon Peterson finished the game for the Miracle by striking out the side in the ninth, but did surrender one hit.
The Miracle (76-52, 35-34) go for the sweep against the Marauders (70-57, 35-23) Thursday at 6:30 p.m.