BROOKLYN, NY-Looking to come up with a
win in the rubber game of a three-game series with Batavia, the Brooklyn Cyclones would lose their last game before the All-Star
break 7-3, thanks in part to a three-RBI performance from Muckdogs right fielder Jay Miller.
A victim of no-decisions his past two starts,
Nelson Portillo would get the start tonight, looking to win his first game since July 30 against Aberdeen, when he threw six
shutouts in a 3-0 win.
The Cyclones would have an opportunity
tonight to give Portillo the run support they didn’t give last night’s starter, Todd Privett, but a Jon Sanchez
strike out [Sanchez went 0-4 with four K’s last night] in the first would fail to bring home Dustin Martin and Jason
Jacobs, keeping the game scoreless.
Portillo would run into trouble in the
third, but it wasn’t because of his pitching. Quintin Berry reached base after being hit by a pitch and after Portillo threw a wild
pitch, Berry would wind up on second and eventually scored trying to steal third
after Jacobs threw the ball to left field.
Brooklyn, however would strike back in
the bottom of the inning, getting an RBI single from Jon Schemmel that would score Luis Rivera and a RBI sac fly from Dustin
Martin, giving them a 2-1 lead with only one out. Muckdogs starting pitcher Andrew Cruse would then walk Jacobs and after
another sacrifice fly, this time by Sanchez, the Cyclones were up 3-1.
Portillo would keep the score at 3-1 until
a Jacob Dempsey RBI single in the sixth would bring Batavia within one run with
only one out. Batavia would continue to break the game open in the sixth, as Jay Miller would blast a three-run homer off
Portillo that rang off the Keyspan Park scoreboard, giving the Muckdogs a 5-3 lead.
“I think after that home run everyone
put their heads down,” said Rivera. “This series we’ve been making a lot of errors too, that’s not
would then be summoned out of the Brooklyn bullpen in the seventh and wouldn’t be able to silence
Batavia’s bats, giving up two-out RBI singles from P.J. Antoniato and Dempsey
that stretched the Muckdogs lead to 7-3. Warren would then be replaced by David
Koons who would get the final out of the inning.
Garet Hill would come into the game for
Batavia in the seventh, replacing Cruse and would make things interesting. After
Rivera reached on an error and Joe Holden singled, Schemmel would have an opportunity to put Brooklyn
back in the game, but would line out and end the inning.
The Cyclones would have yet another opportunity
to get back into the game as Martin [1-3, RBI] would single to lead off the eighth inning and after Sanchez added a single
of his own, the Mets Single-A affiliate would have runners on first and second with only one out. However, Hill would then
regain his command, striking out Mark Wright and got Tim Grogan to fly out to end the inning, keeping Brooklyn
Hill would stay on the mound in the ninth,
getting the Cyclones in order, putting the finishing touches on a 7-3 loss in front of 7,620 fans at Keyspan Park.
Losing for the second time in as many nights,
the Cyclones go into the All-Star break with a 32-22 record with several question marks concerning their offense, especially
what to do with the slumping Jon Sanchez, [whose defense this season has been worse than his .195 batting average and 41 strikeouts
in 163 at bats] with Elvis Cruz having some extra time to heal from an early season wrist injury.
“I’m always concerned when
a person doesn’t play up to their potential,” said Greer of Sanchez. “He’s been working hard and has
come everyday for extra work. I look for him to start helping us a little bit more than he has been.”
Rather than be worried about the team’s
recent lack of offensive production that feels eerily familiar to the way the team started their season, Greer feels the break
will give his team the time they need to refocus and come back strong through the season’s final 22 games.
“We just need to recharge our batteries,”
said Greer. “It [the All-Star Break] came at a perfect time for us.”