Manager Edgardo Alfonzo’s squad had the bases loaded in the first and third, and had runners on the corners in the second. Yet, the worst offense in the league only scored two runs.
In the first, Quinn Brodey hit a sacrifice fly to center. Leon Byrd scored but Matt Winaker was gunned down at third by Luke Burch. Jose Maria lined one to left field but Ronnell Coleman dove to his left side and ended the threat.
An inning later, Scott Manea and Jeremy Wolf recorded back to back hits to ignite the offense. Franklin Correa reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners. A ball skidded to the plate and got by the Tiger’s catcher. Manea, a 205-pound catcher attempted to take home and was tagged out easily. Another wasted chance.
After a single and three straight walks, the Cyclones had scored another. Tiger’s manager Gerald Laird pulled his starter, Jhonny Mateo, who struggled all game and looked to get out of the jam with the lead. Manea stared at three balls but still struck out swinging on a fastball.
On the flip side, the Tigers took advantage of a porous start by Michael Gibbons. After being assigned to Brooklyn on a rehab start, Gibbons allowed seven runs on five hits and two walks in 2.1 IP. Gibbons served up pitchers over the plate and the Tigers had hard hits, sacrifice fly outs and scored six runs in the first four innings.
“Gibbons looked good in the first,” Alfonzo said. “And then he went a little bit off and they took advantage of it.”
Two different defensive plays encapsulated the difference between the Tigers and Cyclones.
In the bottom of the third, Coleman again displayed his ranger. Byrd drove a ball to deep left, Coleman pivoted his hips, attacked the ball like a NFL receiver and made a spectacular diving catch across his body to get the out.
In the seventh, Hector Martinez roped a ball into right field and Byrd had a chance to throw the runner out at the plate. The throw beat the runner to the plate with ease but Manea missed the tag. When you only win one game at home in the first two weeks of the season, some things never go your way.
The Cyclones committed two more errors on the night, bringing their season total to 25. Brooklyn has never had back-to-back games without committing an error.
“They did the right thing to win,” Alfonzo said. “We don’t get the result we wanted. But we were able to put some good at-bats together.”
Brooklyn goes on the road to take on the Tri-City ValleyCats and hopefully, get back on the winning track.
“Every time you go on the road, the guys get to relax a little more,” Alfonzo said. “They try to do too much at home. I’m looking forward to it.”
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