Staten Island Yankees 0
Aug. 25 at MCU Park
The Clones came off Friday’s embarrassing loss and shut out the hated Staten Island Yankees in a blowout win in the People’s Playground.
Clones starter Hansel Robles put in perhaps his finest performance of the season, blanking the reviled cross-Narrows rivals for seven innings while giving up just three hits and one walk. Set-up man Logan Taylor tossed a perfect eighth to maintain his 0.00 ERA for the season, and closer Tyler Vanderheiden fanned two batters in the ninth and forced another into a ground out to end the game.
And the Coney offense was there to back the hurlers up. The Clones got on the board in the first inning, after third baseman Dimas Ponce and shortstop Phillip Evans hit back-to-back singles off Staten Island starter Gabriel Encinas. Right fielder Eudy Pina reached first on a throwing error by Yankee shortstop Claudio Custodio, loading the bases with just one away. Ponce then scored on a sac fly off the bat of catcher Kevin Plawecki — the Purdue grad’s 24th RBI of the season.
The Mini-Mets put up two more runs in the fifth, after Encinas walked second baseman Jeff Reynolds and surrendered a ground ball single to left fielder Julio Concepcion. Center fielder Brandon Nimmo then dropped one into left field to send Reynolds home — picking up his team-leading 34th RBI of the season and extending his hitting streak to six games. A single by Evans, who ended up going three-for-five on the night, brought Concepcion in.
But Brooklyn really broke the game open in the seventh, tacking eight runs onto their lead and batting around. Encinas started off by walking Reynolds again, then throwing a wild pitch that let him take second. Nimmo also drew a walk, and Ponce hit a base-clearing triple. It was enough for Baby Bombers skipper Justin Pope to pull Encinas off the mound for reliever Zach Woods, who didn’t stand a chance against the Cyclones bats. Woods let Evans hit a fly ball to right to drive in Ponce, then walked Pina and first baseman Alexander Sanchez. Jeff Glenn hit a single that let Evans and Pina cross the plate, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Reynolds then came back up to bat and cracked a two-run homer over the left field fence.
The Clones remain six games behind the Hudson Valley Renegades with 11 games left in the race for the McNamara division crown. They are just three games ahead of the Batavia Muckdogs in the wild card race. The Yankees have already been eliminated from playoff contention.
The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] on Aug. 30 at 7 pm as they take on the Hudson Valley Renegades.
Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.