Clones Pitching Staff Leaves Batavia in Kibbles and Bits

by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BROOKLYN, NY - The Brooklyn Cyclones pitching staff may have collectively coughed up Sunday's game before the offense came through in extra innings, but they were dominant on Monday, registering 14 strikeouts in a 2-1 win over the Batavia Muckdogs.

“They were great,” said shortstop Reese Havens, who ended up with the game-winning RBI. “As far as I'm concerned, they've been great all season.”

Just like Sunday, the Mets Single-A affiliate got on the board first. Batavia starter Zach Pitts wasn't sharp in the early going and gave up a pair of doubles from Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordan Abruzzo, sandwiched in between a wild pitch that allowed Nieuwenhuis to score and gave Brooklyn a 1-0 advantage. Havens then padded the lead with a two-out RBI single that scored Abruzzo and gave the Clones a 2-0 lead after one inning of play.

“When you get an early lead, it helps,” said Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo. “You play harder. It happened tonight.”

Coming off of his first win of the season on Aug. 6, Brooklyn starter Pedro P. Martinez [1-2, 3.20 ERA] wasn't his normal solid self early on and was unable to work his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the second, giving up a Jairo Martinez RBI single that cut the Brooklyn lead in half.

That's all the Cardinals Single-A affiliate could muster off the righty however, as Martinez stifled them over his last three innings pitched, striking out a season-high eight batters and keeping the game at 2-1.

“He did his job tonight,” Alfonzo said. “He pitched well enough to win.”

Jimmy Johnson came out of the Brooklyn bullpen in the sixth and kept the Muckdogs scoreless through the eight and left with two outs in the ninth. Yury Santana was then inserted and got the final out, securing the team's 29th win of the season in the process.

With Staten Island's doubleheader split on Monday, the Baby Bums are now only three games out of first place and feel confident going on the road against Auburn, before coming back home for a three-game series with the Tri-City Valley Cats this weekend.

“We've played great on the road this season,” Johnson said. “The offense always steps it up away from home and the way we've been playing as a team lately, we know this is an important stretch.”

Notes-

The rumor circulating around the park tonight was that Mets closer Billy Wagner will be making a rehab appearance at Keyspan this weekend.