One more win and the Clones are in the playoffs!

Cyclones 4
Lowell Spinners 1

Sept. 3 at MCU Park

Scrappy offense and a great outing by hurler Luis Cessa let Brooklyn’s boys of summer take the first of three games against the Lowell Spinners in MCU Park — putting the Clones one game ahead in the wild card race with two left to play.

Cessa gave up just six hits, one walk, and one run — an RBI single to Baby Sox first baseman Jake Davies in the top of the fourth — in a strong showing that came to a close one out shy of a complete game.

The Clones got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth after catcher Kevin Plawecki hit a ground ball single off Spinners starter Francellis Montas, who then walked designated hitter Nelfi Zapata. Lowell skipper Bruce Crabbe yanked Montas off the mound for Francisco Taveras, but it didn’t do much good: Brooklyn second baseman Juan Carlos Gamboa slapped a grounder to right, and an error at the plate by catcher Oscar Perez let Plawecki score, tying the game.

The Cyclones put up another run in the fifth inning, as Taveras gave up a walk to third baseman Dimas Ponce, a single to shortstop Phillip Evans, another single to first baseman Jayce Boyd, and yet another single to Plawecki to bring Ponce home.

Brooklyn racked up two more runs in the eighth, after left fielder Jorge Rivero reached base on a fielding error at the hot corner. Taveras then walked Zapata — who Cyclones skipper Rich Donnelly switched for pinch-runner Richie Rodriguez. A sac bunt by Gamboa let the runners move into scoring position, and Taveras intentionally walked right fielder Maikis De La Cruz to load the bases for center fielder Brandon Nimmo. A grounder by Nimmo sent Rivero running home, only to be called out at the plate in a three-two putout. But Taveras then walked Ponce to drive in Rodriguez, and Evans put the ball into play to score De La Cruz.

Lowell attempted to rally in the ninth, as second baseman Mike Miller opened the inning with a line drive double to center. Cessa then fanned center fielder Jose Colorado and forced shortstop Devon Marrero into a ground out. But a single from first baseman Jake Davies left runners on the corners, causing Donnelly to send in closer Tyler Vanderheiden. A groundout by third baseman Nick Moore ended the game.

The Cyclones’ victory puts the team in the top slot in the NY–Penn League wild card race, one game ahead of the Batavia Muckdogs, who fell to their Pinckney division rivals the Auburn Doubledays earlier in the day. Another victory by the Cyclones or another loss by the Muckdogs will put Brooklyn in the playoffs.

The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] today at 6 pm as they take on the Lowell Spinners.

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