BRADENTON -- The Bradenton Marauders fell 9-8 to the Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday night at McKechnie Field.
The loss eliminates the Marauders from playoff contention with four games remaining in the season.
Bradenton (31-32) got on the board first in the 12th one-run game between the two teams this season. Mel Rojas Jr. blasted a two-run home run off Tom Stuifbergen in the bottom of the inning. Rojas finished the game a double shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a home run, a triple, three runs scored and three RBIs.
The Marauders answered a two-run rally by Fort Myers (30-34) in the top of the third with a three-run inning of their own in the home half of the inning. After Rojas tripled in a run, Alex Dickerson homered for the 13th time this season.
Eliecer Navarro was knocked out in the top of the fifth inning without recording an out. The lefty walked a season-high five batters and did not factor in the decision. Emmanuel De Leon recorded all three outs in the fifth before crumbling in the sixth. Six runs scored for Fort Myers before an out was recorded, turning a 7-3 Bradenton lead into a 9-7 Miracle advantage.
The Marauders plated one run in the sixth and threatened in the seventh, but could not tie the game against Miguel Munoz or Michael O'Rourke. Michael Tonkin pitched the ninth, striking out the side for his sixth save.
The Marauders play four games against the St. Lucie Mets to end the season. First pitch from Digital Domain Park on Wednesday is at 6:30 p.m. with pregame coverage starting at 6:15 p.m. on News Talk 930 WLSS.