'New Look' Clones Trim Yanks in 7-4 Win
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Monday, July 21, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - After their last road trip in Oneonta produced only 10 runs in three games, the Brooklyn Cyclones knew they needed to try something different at the plate.
Sporting five o'clock shadows and the beginning of what may eventually turn into a fine collection of young upper-lip hair, the Baby Mets pounced on their cross-borough rivals on Sunday, smacking them around for seven runs and 11 hits in a 7-4 win.
“We needed this after last night's game,” said Brooklyn skipper Edgar Alfonzo. “We came out hard and got really good pitching and some big hits.”
Both starting pitchers, Brooklyn's Jenry Mejia and Staten Island's Luke Grienke were solid early on, keeping both team's hitless through the first inning. Grienke ran into serious trouble in the second however, surrendering an RBI single from Eric Campbell and a bases loaded walk to John Servidio.
That signaled the end of Grienke's day, as he was replaced by righty Jason Kiley with no outs in the second. The Clones roughed up Kiley as well however, adding another run to the scoreboard after Caesar Cordido grounded into a bases loaded double play and gave the Mets Single-A affiliate a 3-0 lead.
Brooklyn wasn't done producing offensively however, as a Servidio RBI single and a two-run double from Cordido in the fourth stretched the lead to 6-0. Matt Smith, an infielder on a rehab assignment from St. Lucie also became a factor, hitting an RBI single of his own, which gave the Baby Bums a 7-0 lead.
“We got the monkey off our backs tonight,” said Smith. “We've been one hit or one pitch away from winning a few ball games lately. We really needed this.”
Unlike his two previous starts at Keyspan, Mejia managed to keep his composure after the third, surrendering only one hit and striking out nine in only five innings of work.
However, Erik Turgeon came out of the Brooklyn bullpen in the sixth and lasted only one out after giving up a Brian Baisley sacrifice fly that finally got Staten Island on the scoreboard. Southpaw Jimmy Johnson was then summoned from the bullpen and calmed things down, retiring the next two hitters he faced and keeping the score at 7-1.
Johnson continued to pitch into the eighth after a scoreless seventh and struck out two, keeping Brooklyn in the driver's seat at 7-1 with only an inning and a half left to play. Things then got spicy in the ninth as setup man Yury Santana came into the game and continued his erratic play as of late, giving up three runs, all with two outs, before retiring Brian Chavez on strikes with the tying run in the on-deck circle, giving the Clones a 7-4 win.
Winning only their third game since Jul. 7, the Clones will head back to Staten Island for the rubber game of the three-game series. Confident the offense will continue to produce, Alfonzo sees the victory as a turning point for his team.
“After we lost on Saturday, the team was really mad,” said Alfonzo. “I was hoping for a response like this at some point in the season and after they let it all out, I told them that the season starts today. If we get a few wins now, we're still in this thing. It's up to them.”
Cyclones shortstop Reese Havens is expected to be out for at least 10 games with what Alfonzo said was a pulled groin.
Third baseman Zach Lutz is also back on the shelf, nursing a variety of injuries, including a strained quad, sore lower back and right ankle. No timetable was given to when the Cyclones leading-hitter will be back in the lineup.