Playoff hopes in jeopardy after loss to hated Staten Island Yankees

Clones top Tigers, ending losing streak

Staten Island Yankees 1
Brooklyn Cyclones 0

Sept. 2 at MCU Park

A solo homer let the loathed Staten Island Yankees squeak past Brooklyn’s boys of summer in a shutout loss in Coney Island — jeopardizing the Cyclones’ chances for a playoff spot.

The crushing defeat was a tense duel, as Staten Island starter Andrew Benak blanked the Clones for five innings while surrendering only a single hit and two walks. Brooklyn threatened in the sixth after reliever Pedro Feliciano gave up back-to-back singles to shortstop Phillip Evans and catcher Kevin Plawecki with two away, but first baseman Jayce Boyd flied out to center to end the inning. It was the only time the Cyclones put a batter in scoring position the entire game.

Cyclones hurler Rainy Lara turned in a strong performance, striking out eight batters in seven innings on the mound, while giving up just four hits and two walks. But one of those hits was a fourth-inning homer to Baby Bombers catcher Peter O’Brien. Brooklyn reliever Logan Taylor came on in the eighth and allowed just one hit and one walk, but the Clones offense never showed up and failed to produce a run.

Brooklyn was eliminated from the race for the McNamara division crown on Saturday night, when the first-place Hudson Valley Renegades clinched. The Clones’ only hope for the playoffs is a highly coveted wild card berth — and the loss left them in a three-way tie with the Auburn Doubledays and the Batavia Muckdogs of the Pinckney division. The Cyclones swept Auburn in early August and took two of three against Batavia in a series in late July.

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.