The Florida Fire Frogs’ offense struggled to figure out Fort Myers Miracle pitching on Wednesday night, as the Atlanta Braves Advanced-A affiliate fell 9-0 for their first shutout defeat of 2018.
Jeremy Walker (0-1) worked a quick, 11-pitch first inning, but ran into trouble in the second, as the right-hander yielded six runs on six hits.
Jaylin Davis started the frame with an infield single for Fort Myers (4-3), and reached second on a groundout off the bat of Nelson Molina. Walker walked Jared Foster to put runners on first and second, and allowed an infield single to Alex Perez to load the bases.
Brandon Lopez bounced out to third, plating Davis and getting Walker an out away from escaping the inning with minimal damage, but Jimmy Kerrigan launched his second home run of the series to put the Fire Frogs in a 4-0 hole.
Mitchell Kranson kept the line moving with a single, and scored on Caleb Hamilton’s double to left to put the visitors behind by five Travis Blankenhorn singled home Hamilton to end the night for the Fire Frogs’ starter.
Chad Sobotka came in to relieve Walker, and retired Davis on a grounder to third to finish the second.
The tall right-hander worked a perfect fourth and fifth innings to set down all seven batters he faced.
The Miracle used a two-out rally in the sixth to tack on three more runs in the sixth against Chase Whitley to extend the deficit for the Fire Frogs to nine.
Anthony Marzi (1-0) earned his first win of the season for Fort Myers. The 25-year-old blanked Florida over 6.1 innings, giving up four hits and striking out five.
Cristian Pache (2×4, 2B) and Alejandro Salazar (2×3) had two hits apiece to produce four of the Fire Frogs’ five hits.
The Fire Frogs will look to split the series in the finale of the four-game set of Thursday night at Hammond Stadium. LHP Tucker Davidson (0-1, 5.40) works for Florida against Fort Myers’ RHP Tyler Wells (0-0, 2.25). First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.
Florida returns to Osceola County Stadium for a seven-game homestand beginning Tuesday, April 17 against the St. Lucie Mets and Lakeland Flying Tigers. The seven games feature Los Coquis Night on April 19, and Superhero Night on April 21.