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IronBirds watch big lead, playoff hopes slip away

The Aberdeen IronBirds playoff hopes took a devastating hit Sunday at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium.

The 'Birds jumped ahead of Staten Island early and through seven innings, held a commanding, 9-2 lead.

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In innings eight and nine, however, the Yankees scored eight times, including five in the ninth, to send Aberdeen to an crucial 10-9 defeat.

The loss proved very costly for Aberdeen (40-33) as Hudson Valley swept a double-header at Lowell, putting the IronBirds on the brink of elimination.

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The loss eliminated Aberdeen from the McNamara Division race and they are now three games back of Hudson Valley in the Wild Card standings. The Renegades magic number is one.

Aberdeen is back in action tonight (Tuesday) against Staten Island in the season's final home game. The IronBirds play their final two games at Hudson Valley Wednesday and Thursday.

In Sunday's loss the 'Birds scored five (three unearned) times over the first two innings. Four more runs crossed the plate in the sixth for the 9-2 lead.

Then it all came apart.

The Yankees three runs in the eighth came on two singles and a home run from Kendall Coleman off reliever Gray Fenter, who was just added to the Aberdeen roster the day before.

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In the ninth, all five runs scored after two outs. Danienger Perez singled and Cesar Diaz doubled to get it started. The next batter lined out and after a pitching change to get William Reed Hayes in to close it down, Timmy Robinson struck out.

Manny Argomaniz followed with a two-run single and Welfrin Mateo singled to keep the inning going.

Coleman then came back to the plate and doubled in two more runs to tie the game.

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Aberdeen made another pitching change, bringing Nick Jobst in to replace Hayes.

Jason Lopez, a pinch-hitter, promptly greeted Jobst with a double, scoring Coleman with the winning run.

Trevor Craport (2 RBIs), Ben Breazeale (RBI) and Garrett Copeland (RBI) had two hits each to lead the Aberdeen offense. T.J. Nichting added one hit and three RBIs.

Reach Randy McRoberts on twitter. @aegissports


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