The Aberdeen IronBirds made it to the off day for the Major League All-Star Game with a 12-11 record after beating the first place Cyclones, 2-0, in Brooklyn Monday. It was the second straight victory for the IronBirds, who return to Ripken Stadium Wednesday night to host Hudson Valley in a three game series.
By taking two out of three in Brooklyn, Aberdeen closed the gap behind the division leading Cyclones to just three games.
Six pitchers - Francisco Jimenez, Daniel Ayers, Kevin Grendell, Robert Strader, Garrett Cleavinger and Ryan Meisinger – combined to pitch the four-hit shutout for Aberdeen. The IronBirds got back to back doubles from Cedric Mullins and Drew Turbin and a sacrifice fly from Randy Gassaway to score both runs in the fourth.
The win gave Aberdeen the series win over Brooklyn, the team with the best record in the division.
The IronBirds had their hitting shoes on, as they pounded host Brooklyn, 9-3, Sunday evening to take the middle game of the teams' three-game series.
The visitors pounded out 11 hits, four of them for extra bases, including a two-run homer by center fielder Cedric Mullins, for his first round-tripper of the season, and a solo shot by designated hitter Steve Laurino, his second.
The IronBirds were also helped by some sloppy play afield by the Cyclones, who committed five errors, and some poor pitching, as four Brooklyn hurlers provided six walks to go along with the hit barrage.
Aberdeen fell behind 2-0 after the first inning, scored a single run on Laurino's homer in the second and then took command with three runs in the third, a rally ignited by Mullins' homer that followed a leadoff single by shortstop Ricardo Andujar.
The IronBirds put up another three spot in the fifth and then scored single runs in the sixth and eighth. Brooklyn added its final run in the seventh.
Mullins led the hit parade with three hits in three trips to the plate and also walked twice and scored three runs. Laurino walked three times. Andujar and Drew Turbin had two hits apiece.
Starter Travis Seabrooke got the win for Aberdeen, pitching five innings and giving up two runs, five hits and a walk and striking out two, to run his record to 2-1. Patrick Baker, Andrew Elliott and Jay Flaa followed Seabrooke to the mound.
Brooklyn starter Tyler Badamo took the loss, giving up seven runs – six earned – and eight hits and three walks in four and two-thirds innings. He also struck out six and gave up both Aberdeen homers.
Sunday's win pushed the IronBirds back to even on the season at 11-11, and they picked up a full game on the McNamara Division leading Cyclones, as did second place Staten Island, which also won Sunday. Brooklyn now leads Staten Island by two games, with the IronBirds another game back in third place.
The two teams will square off in the rubber match of the series Monday night at MCU Park. First pitch is at 7:00.
No Coney Island fun
The IronBirds Saturday night trip to Coney Island was anything but fun, as the IronBirds ran into a whirlwind of good pitching and lost the first of three games with the home standing Brooklyn Cyclones, 2-1.
Aberdeen managed only three hits off a trio of Brooklyn pitchers, scoring its only run on a fourth inning homer by second baseman Drew Turbin.
The IronBirds only other hits came off the bats of Ricardo Andujar and Randolph Gassaway. The visitors only other base runner came via a walk to Turbin.
Division leading Brooklyn, meanwhile, scratched out five hits and its mound corps was good enough to make the Cyclones two second inning runs stand up for the victory.
The scores came courtesy of a two-RBI single by Pedro Perez, preceded by a double steal that put runners on third and second for what turned out to the game winning hit.
Brooklyn starting pitcher Kevin Canelon went 6.1 innings for the win, giving two of the three Aberdeen hits, including the Turbin homer, as well as his free pass. Canelon struck out six IronBirds to run his season record to 2-1.
Carlos Valdez got the hold for the winners, pitching 1.2 innings and giving up a hit, while striking out two. Alex Palsha picked up his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.
IronBirds starter Jean Cosme was tagged with the loss, giving up the two winning runs in the second on the only two hits and walk he would allow in his five innings on the mound. Cosme struck out six in what on most nights should have been a winning performance.
Lazaro Leyva hurled two innings, giving up three hits and striking out one batter. Will Dennis pitched a scoreless eighth for Aberdeen.
Saturday's loss sent the IronBirds back below .500 at 10-11, while Brooklyn improved to 15-6 and maintained a three-game McNamara Division lead over Staten Island, which also won on Saturday.
Friday night lights out
The IronBirds evened their season record at 10-10 with a 6-3 win over the Staten Island Yankees Friday night at Ripken Stadium.
The victory came in what was supposed to be the first game of a doubleheader after Thursday night's game was postponed because of wet grounds. The two games were slated for seven innings each.
Play was halted in the top of fifth inning of the second game, however, with Aberdeen ahead, 2-1, because of a power outage. Both teams had plated their runs in the fourth inning.
The outage was still under investigation at 11:30 p.m. by a repair crew out the scene, according to the BGE website.
In the first game, after both teams scored single runs in first, Aberdeen took command with a four-spot in the home half of the second. The Yankees tallied two runs in the fourth and Aberdeen closed out the score with a run in the fifth.
Staten Island outhit the IronBirds 7 to 5. Neither team homered.
D.J. Stewart, the Orioles first pick in the recent MLB free agent draft, notched two RBIs without a hit for Aberdeen, which got single RBIs from Cedric Mullis, Drew Turbin, Mike Odenwealder and Jerry McClanahan, as Staten Island pitchers gave up seven walks.
Tanner Scott, who pitched two scoreless innings after taking over at the beginning of the fifth for starter Zach Albin, got the win, his third against no losses. Ryan Meisinger pitched a scoreless seventh for his third save.