Reyes gone, but Cyclones back on track
Brooklyn Wins Third in a Row behind Gonzalez’s Six-Inning Gem
Jose Reyes went zero-for-Brooklyn during his brief minor league stint in our fair borough, but the Cyclones appear to have finally hit their stride.
Reyes, who was sent to Coney Island by the parent-club Mets last weekend as he tries to resurrect his image following a well-chronicled domestic abuse incident and work his way back into Major League playing shape, went 0-for-5 with a walk, two strikeouts and an error at third base for the Baby Bums.
The four-time All-Star manned the hot corner during the Cyclones’ 1-0 win over Hudson Valley on Sunday afternoon, helping to draw a crowd of 7,851 to Surf Avenue’s sun-splashed facility by the sea.
“I’m sorry to everybody, from the bottom of my heart,” Reyes told the media throng gathered to see his return to the organization he spent the first nine of his 13 big league seasons with before going 0-for-3 at the plate.
“I made a huge mistake.”
That mistake cost Reyes, who began this season with Colorado, a 52-game suspension and approximately $8 million in salary this year, in accordance with MLB’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy.
But Reyes was treated more like a returning hero than a pariah by the Brooklyn faithful, who filled MCU Park to capacity and greeted him with the familiar “Jose! Jose! Jose!” chant that he was accustomed to receiving in Flushing between 2003-2011.
The 33-year-old reclamation project went 0-for-2 with a walk in Monday’s come-from-behind, 10-inning 6-5 win over the Renegades before being shipped out and up to Double-A Binghamton, where he is currently waiting for the Mets to bring him back to the big leagues.
The Cyclones didn’t miss a beat without their short-term third baseman, besting State College, 6-2, on Tuesday night in University Park, Pennsylvania behind a brilliant pitching effort from Harol Gonzalez.
The 21-year-old Dominican right-hander throttled the Spikes’ offense, carrying a no-hitter into the fourth inning before finishing with 10 strikeouts over six scintillating frames.
Gonzalez, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous outing, an eventual 3-2 loss to Connecticut last week, yielded a run on three hits with only one walk during his latest gem.
“The sky’s the limit for him,” Brooklyn pitching coach Bill Bryk said of Gonzalez, who improved to 1-1 on the season with a 2.55 ERA.
Taylor Henry followed Gonzalez with two scoreless frames and Alejandro Castro yielded a run in the ninth before slamming the door on the Cyclones’ season-high third straight win, improving their overall mark to 6-6 and moving them within four games of first-place Staten Island in the McNamara Division standings.
Brooklyn bats were also sizzling Tuesday night as the Cyclones thumped out 12 hits, including a surprising 3-for-4 effort for previously struggling shortstop Dale Burdick, who began the season in a 1-for-29 funk.
Catcher Brandon Brosher and right-fielder Amaldo Berrios added two hits apiece for the Cyclones, who snapped State College’s six-game winning streak.
The middle contest of the three-game set was scheduled for Wednesday night State College, with right-hander Merandy Gonzalez toeing the rubber for Brooklyn.
This, That and the Other Thing: First baseman Darryl Knight went 1-for-5 with a run scored in Tuesday’s win over the Spikes, but had a major impact in Monday’s heart-stopping home win over the Renegades. After starting first baseman Dionis Paulino was forced to leave the game in the third inning with a hand injury, Knight went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, delivering the game-winning walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th. He is 5-for-14 with three RBIs over his last three games … The Cyclones are celebrating Independence Day weekend and the 100th anniversary of Nathan’s Famous with style. On Sunday, July 3 at MCU Park, the Cyclones will change their names to the Coney Island Franks — for one day only — and allow fans to purchase a pre-game All-You Can Eat Hot Dog package, including a game ticket for just $30. In addition, the first 2,000 fans in attendance will receive a special Coney Island Franks snapback hat as part of the celebration. The pre-game BBQ will take place in the all-new Brooklyn Backyard starting at 4:45 p.m. and lasting until 6:15 p.m. During this period, those who purchase the package will be able to make like perennial Hot Dog eating world champion Joey Chestnut and scarf down as many hot dogs as they can. Soft drinks and water are also included in the price of the package.
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