Manoah helps Cyclones end four-game skid
Right-Hander Wins Second Straight Start as Brooklyn Tops Renegades
Erik Manoah continued his mound maturity Monday afternoon, helping the Cyclones end a four-game losing streak by tossing five strong innings in Brooklyn’s 6-3 victory at Hudson Valley in front of 4,357 fans at Dutchess Stadium.
Manoah, the Mets’ 13th-round draft pick out of South Dade High School in Homestead, Florida back in 2014, has struggled to find consistency on the hill despite boasting three plus-pitches – a fastball, breaking ball and changeup – that most Minor League hurlers would love to have in their arsenal.
“Mechanics-wise, he’s had problems thus far in his career in overthrowing his pitches and ends up pitching from behind the count,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa told MiLB.com last month while discussing Manoah’s progress during his first full season here on Coney Island.
Those mechanics have been much tighter thus far this year, save for a brutal outing at Batavia on July 6 in which the 20-year-old, 6-foot-2 right-hander was bombed for nine runs on seven hits in a season-low 3 1/3 innings.
Since then, however, Manoah has emerged as one of the more consistent starters on the Brooklyn roster, yielding just two runs on eight hits over 11 innings in his last two turns.
He limited the Renegades to a run on four hits over five frames, striking out one and walking one while firing 38 of 66 pitches for strikes.
Thus far this season, the Miami native has surrendered two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts, including a one-hit, six-inning scoreless stint against Hudson Valley at MCU Park on June 26.
“I’m very proud of Erik,” Gamboa noted after Manoah improved to 3-1 with a 4.75 ERA. “I’ve seen him mature two years in the last three months and it’s a big factor in his development.”
Of course, Manoah’s solid outing was only half the story Monday as Brooklyn relievers Raul Jacobsen and Taylor Henry worked the final four innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out four to make sure the Cyclones got back in the win column for the first time since last Wednesday’s 6-2 triumph at Aberdeen.
Recently added Mets’ second-round pick Pete Alonso, who joined the Brooklyn roster on July 9, continued to assert himself as a strong presence in the Cyclones’ previously limp lineup.
The pro neophyte went 2-for-4 with his second homer of the summer and two RBIs. The former Florida Gator also scored twice as Brooklyn used a four-run sixth inning to erase a 1-0 deficit and put Manoah in line for the win.
In 10 games with the Baby Bums, Alonso, a first baseman, is batting .289 with two homers, seven RBIs and eight runs scored for Brooklyn, which is four games back of first-place Staten Island in the McNamara Division standings.
Fifth-round pick and shortstop prospect Colby Woodmansee added a pair of hits and two RBIs for the Cyclones, who were scheduled to wrap up their three-game set at Hudson Valley Tuesday night before returning to Surf Avenue for a critical six-game homestand.
This, That and the Other Thing: Manoah is far from the only starter making big strides in Brooklyn this summer. Dominican right-hander Harol Gonzalez flirted with a no-hitter last Thursday night against Lowell at MCU Park, finishing his 6 2/3-inning scoreless stint with just one hit allowed, a leadoff base hit into right field by Ryan Scott. The game, which was televised by SNY here in the tri-state area, ended with a heartbreaking 1-0, loss for Brooklyn. But Gonzalez, who lowered his season ERA to 2.62, drew high praise from Cyclones pitching coach Billy Bryk Jr. “He keeps hitters off-balance all game,” Bryk Jr. told MiLB.com. “He’s one of those pitchers that reads the batter pitch for pitch. Harol calls his own game and he sees what the hitters are trying to throw at him. He knows what pitch he’s going to throw before the catcher does. He’s a master of pitching out there and I love watching him throw.” In six starts this summer, Gonzalez has yielded one earned run or fewer four times, striking out a season-high 10 batters on two separate occasions. … Brooklyn’s upcoming homestand will feature three big games against first-place Staten Island, including Tuesday’s Edgardo “Fonzie” Alfonzo Bobblehead Day, which will conclude with a fireworks display against the always dazzling Coney Island backdrop at MCU.
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