Cyclones 'Rake' Scrappers in 4-2 win
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Monday, July 7, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - After Saturday night's 6-1 loss, Cyclones first baseman Ike Davis exclaimed that the team's ineffectiveness at the plate at home was “a fluke” and that the team was ready to “rake it” on Sunday.
Coming from behind in a 4-2 win and collectively amassing nine hits on Sunday, Davis may find himself moonlighting as a tarot card reader on 18th avenue if he doesn't make a name for himself in professional baseball.
“I think it's just a matter of us getting comfortable,” Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo said of his team's inconsistency at the plate this season. “Once that happens, I believe this team will hit and score runs. I think you're seeing it begin to happen now.”
While the offense hasn't blossomed yet, the Clones pitching staff has been dominant all season. Sunday was no exception either, as both starting pitchers, Brooklyn's Brad Holt and Mahoning Valley's Russel Young, were solid early on, striking out a combined four hitters, keeping the game scoreless through the first two innings. The Scrappers eventually broke the stalemate in the third though after a Lonnie Chisenhall two-out RBI double baffled Clones right fielder John Servidio and scored two runs, giving the visiting team an early two-run lead.
While Young continued to confuse the Brooklyn offense, Holt hurled a scoreless fourth and fifth before getting any offensive support.
“The first couple of innings, I didn't feel so great,” said Holt, who came into the game with a 1-2 record and a 2.45 ERA. “I felt like I was pushing the ball. After that, I figured out what I was doing and I talked to our pitching coach Hector Berrios. He suggested I use my changeup more and I did. It opened up some doors for me today.”
After a lead-off double by Servidio in the fifth, Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out, but got the Clones right fielder to third. Backup catcher Caesar Cordido then notched his second RBI of the season by grounding out as well, but with enough mustard this time to get Servidio home, making it a one-run ball game.
With the score 2-1 in the sixth, both starting pitchers were yanked, as Wendy Rosa replaced Holt and Wilfredo Ramirez came in for Young. Both relievers were on their collective games and kept the score at 2-1 through the seventh.
In the eighth however, Ramirez gave up a towering bomb off the bat of Mets fourth round pick Sean Ratliff that tied the score at 2-2.
“He can hit for power,” Alfonzo said. “I think we can see more of it too.”
Brandon Moore replaced Rosa in eighth and got the Scrappers in order, but Mahoning Valley reliever Austin Creps, who came in for Ramirez in the eighth as well, wasn't nearly as solid. With runners on second and third, Josh Satin got the Mets Single-A affiliate their first lead of the game, doubling home Brandon Richey and Davis, who singled earlier in the inning, giving Brooklyn a 4-2 lead.
“We been trying to get something going at home,” Satin. “Hopefully this is it.”
Clones closer Yury Santana was then summoned from the pen in the ninth and got Mahoning Valley in order, securing his league-leading sixth save and a 4-2 Brooklyn win.
Scoring only 30 runs in 10 games at home this season, Alfonzo believes the team is ready to turn the corner offensively.
“Over the next ten games, we're going to start [to produce more offensively],” said Alfonzo. “We're going to be OK.”
Brooklyn third baseman Zach Lutz left the game after coming up lame on a ground out to end the third inning. According to Alfonzo, Lutz is dealing with a variety of injuries, including his right quad and ankle and his lower back. His current status is day to day.
After the game, Lutz appeared to be walking fine, but it's unknown when he'll be back in the lineup.
“To me, it's because he's still weak [after rehabbing from foot surgery last season] and is playing everyday,” Alfonzo said. “I hope it's going to only be a couple of days.”
With a hit in eighth, Davis extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
“I hope he keeps it up,” Alfonzo said.