Late season loss puts Clones three games out of first

Two Clones relievers haven’t given up a run — all season!

Tri-City ValleyCats 4
Cyclones 1

Aug. 18 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium

The Vermont Lake Monsters shut down Brooklyn’s batters and shattered star reliever Paul Sewald’s flawless 0.00 ERA — leaving the team struggling for traction in the season draws to a close.

The Lake Monsters’ pitching staff, led by starter Andres Avila, limited the Mini-Mets to just one run on five hits the entire game, with the lone Clone to cross the plate being second baseman Juan Carlos Gamboa on a force out by right fielder Julio Concepcion in the eighth inning.

The Lake Monsters, meanwhile, put up two runs in the third frame, after right fielder Kelvin Rojas smacked a line drive single off Coney starter Luis Mateo. Rojas advanced to second on a sac bunt by second baseman Chris Bostick, and moved up to third on a ground ball single by center fielder Brett Vertigan, leaving Mateo with runners on the corners. A ground out by left fielder John Wooten let Vertigan take second, and a well-hit ball to center field by catcher Bruce Maxwell allowed both runners to score.

The Lake Monsters padded their lead in the seventh, as Sewald — who had not given up a run all season — let Vermont third baseman Wilfredo Solano come home after designated hitter Sam Roberts tripled. Sewald fanned Rojas, but Bostick laid down a bunt that sent Roberts home and allowed him to reach first base. Sewald — who now boasts an impressive, but not record-breaking, 0.79 ERA — got out of the jam, but Brooklyn’s dream of a perfect season was destroyed.

The loss leaves the Clones three games behind the McNamara division-leading Hudson Valley Renegades. Meanwhile, the third-place Batavia Muckdogs pulled to within three-and-a-half games of Brooklyn in the wild card race.

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. 21 at 7 pm as they take on the Tri-City ValleyCats.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.