The Fort Myers Miracle clawed their way back, but could not match the Florida Fire Frogs Tuesday night in a 5-4 loss at Hammond Stadium.
The Miracle (4-9) totaled a season-high 13 hits, but Florida's insurance run in the ninth inning secured the win.
Dereck Rodriguez (0-2) allowed three runs (one earned) and fanned six over six innings. The Fire Frogs (6-7) pushed across a run in each of the first three innings to take an early lead. Drew Harrington (2-1) led the charge with five strikeouts over his five innings to earn the win.
Zander Wiel's two-out triple in the third brought the Miracle within a run early, but Florida extended its lead in the seventh with back-to-back doubles by Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley.
In the bottom of the eighth, Fort Myers brought in one, but could have had more. Four singles in the frame eventually loaded the bases with one out. Nelson Molina grounded into a fielder's choice with a force out at home, and Alex Perez lined to center where Acuna made an impressive sliding catch.
In the top of the ninth with two outs, Carlos Castro lined a ball to left field with runners on first and second. Daniel Kihle misread the ball in left as it bounced off of his glove, bringing in the insurance run.
Home: 2-2 Away: 2-7 Strk: L-1
Fire Frogs 5, Miracle 4
April 19 - vs. Florida, 6:35 p.m.
April 20 - vs. Florida, 6:35 p.m.
April 21 - at Dunedin, 6:30 p.m.
April 22 - at Dunedin, 6:30 p.m.
April 23 - at Dunedin, 1 p.m.
April 24 - off
April 25 - vs. Bradenton, 6:35 p.m.
April 26 - vs. Bradenton, 6:35 p.m.
April 27 - vs. Bradenton, 6:35 p.m.
April 28 - vs. Dunedin, 6:35 p.m.
April 29 - vs. Dunedin, 6:05 p.m.
April 30 - vs. Dunedin, 4:05 p.m.
Fort Myers countered with Chris Paul's single that drove in Max Murphy in the bottom half, but Devan Watts struck out the next three batters he faced to record the save.
The teams play the third of four games in this series on Wednesday.