A week ago, the Aberdeen IronBirds treated the hometown sellout crowd at Ripken Stadium to an Opening Day 2011 victory. Since then, through Wednesday, the 'Birds have been mired in a five-game losing streak.
The fifth of the five came Wednesday evening in Brooklyn, NY, where the host Cyclones topped the IronBirds, 5-2, polishing off a three-game sweep.
The IronBirds were to return home Thursday to begin a six-game homestand, three with the Staten Island Yankees and then three in a rematch with Brooklyn. All games are 7:05 p.m. starts, with the exception of Sunday's game. It starts at 5:35 p.m.
In Wednesday's loss, the Cyclones took an early 2-0 lead in the second when Aberdeen starting pitcher Parker Bridwell surrendered back-to-back one-out walks. A throwing error by shortstop Mychal Givens led to the first run and Cyclone Nelfi Zapata added a RBI single for the second run.
Brooklyn doubled its lead in the third on three doubles. Danny Muno and Charley Thurber hit back-to-back two-baggers and a batter later, Brian Harrison, also doubled for a 4-0 lead.
Aberdeen broke up the shutout bid in the seventh. Joe Velleggia led off the inning with a single and Connor Narron followed with a hard shot off of Cyclones pitcher, Guillaume Leduc. Leduc, a reliever, picked up the ball and threw wildly to first. Velleggia moved to third and Narron to second, before Leduc threw a wild pitch, scoring Velleggia. Jeremy Nowak then added an RBI single, plating Narron, but that was all the scoring for the IronBirds.
The Cyclones tacked on their final run in the seventh on three consecutive singles.
Eduardo Aldama (1-0) picked up the win, allowing just one hit over five and two-third shutout innings. IronBirds starter Bridwell, the opening day starter and winner, saw his record even out at 1-1.
Aberdeen loses in the ninth
On Tuesday, the 'Birds watched an early 2-0 lead slip away and were beaten in the ninth on a Luke Stewart walk-off RBI double. The clutch two-out hit pushed the Cyclones past the IronBirds, 3-2.
The IronBirds jumped ahead in their first at bat. Austin Knight and Dudley Leonora got the 'Birds off to a fast start with back-to-back singles that put runners on the corners. Givens then grounded into a fielder's choice, driving in Knight.
Aberdeen added its second run in the third when Givens doubled in Leonora.
The Cyclones, however, tied the game, 2-2, in the seventh. With two outs, Ismael Tijerina and J.B. Brown hit back-to-back singles, setting up a Javier Rodriguez two-run double to the wall in left to knot the game at two all.
Brooklyn then scored the winning run on another two-out rally in the ninth. Rodriguez drew a walk with two down in the ninth and then scored on Luke Stewart's game-winning RBI double.
Cyclones reliever T.J. Chism (1-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up the win and IronBirds reliever Angel Cespedes (0-1) took the loss.