Frazier’s blast can’t propel Cyclones
Rehabbing Met homers in Brooklyn’s 4-3 loss to Tri-City
Todd Frazier made his Cyclones debut in style Tuesday night, blasting a solo homer over the left-field fence in Brooklyn’s 4-3 loss to the visiting Tri-City ValleyCats in front of 6,516 fans who picked a good night to take in a Baby Bums game rather than watching the parent club get humiliated in our nation’s capital.
Frazier, recovering from a rib cage injury that has sidelined him since July 9, continued to work his way back into big league form, playing the full nine innings for the first time since beginning his rehab assignment at Class A Advanced St. Lucie last weekend.
The 32-year-old third baseman, who has endured the first two disabled stints of his career in the first season of a two-year, $16 million pact with the Mets, grounded out to shortstop in the bottom of the first, popped out to second in the third and lined out to short in the sixth.
Leading off the eighth with the Cyclones down 4-2, Frazier drilled a shot to left that easily cleared the wall and left his bat with a 107.6 mph exit velocity. The “Toddfather” also had two assists and a putout from the hot corner, further advancing his cause to rejoin the Mets as early as this weekend against Atlanta.
While Frazier was enjoying the scenic vista along Surf Avenue, his Met teammates were getting stomped in Washington, D.C., suffering a franchise-worst 25-4 loss to the Nationals that featured the pitching debut of longtime Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
After Frazier’s booming shot pulled the Cyclones within a run of the ValleyCats, Brooklyn stranded a pair of runners over the final two frames to suffer its third loss in four games, dropping the Baby Bums (23-21) 5 1/2 games behind Hudson Valley for the top spot in the McNamara Division.
Though Frazier didn’t make himself available to the local media following the game, he was scheduled to be back in the lineup Wednesday for the Cyclones’ series finale against Tri-City.
Hot-hitting Brian Sharp continued his recent offensive assault in Brooklyn’s loss Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored to improve to .400 (12-for-30) over his last nine games.
The first baseman, who was the Mets’ 26th-round pick out of Missouri in last month’s MLB Draft, had had at least two hits in five of his last six contests.
Brooklyn starter Trevor McGill (0-1) was touched up for three runs on three hits, including a pair of homers, while walking three and striking out four over 3 2/3 frames.
The Cyclones’ dynamic bullpen limited Tri-City to one run on three hits over the final 5 1/3 frames, but other than Frazier’s solo homer the Cyclones couldn’t muster much after Sharp tripled and scored on Anthony Dirocie’s sacrifice fly in the second and Carlos Cortes’ RBI single in the third.
This, That and the Other Thing: Stud RHP Jaison Vilera extended his scoreless streak Sunday by firing seven innings of two-hit ball in West Virginia. The fast-emerging, hard-throwing, right-hander hasn’t yielded an earned run over his last 28 2/3 innings, lowering his ERA to a league-best 0.78 through eight starts. Brooklyn beat the Power, 7-1, improving Vilera’s record to 5-1 and making him a clear front-runner for New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Year honors and the Mets’ Sterling Award given to the top minor leaguer at each level of the franchise’s chain. “He did a really good job of commanding his off-speed pitches,” Cyclones pitching coach Royce Ring told MiLB.com after Vilera’s latest gem. “At times he struggled with his changeup early on a little bit, but he found that later in the game. He was able to use a fastball and curveball combination early in the game to get through and have quick, efficient innings. Later on, he started finding his changeup, which is his best pitch. By doing that, it allowed him to be strong all the way through seven innings.” The 21-year-old Caracas, Venezuela native is a combined 13-3 with a 1.47 ERA over his first three seasons at different levels in the Mets’ organization. “He made the leap from the GCL to the Penn League from last year to this year, and I think he was trying to figure it out the first couple of starts,” added Ring. “With all the noise and fans we have in Brooklyn, I think he had to get acclimated and understand it’s still the same game that he was already successful at last year. Once he figured that out, he’s kind of took off. Then he started to learn how to use his repertoire through a lineup three or four times.”
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