Cyclones ‘drop’ two, fall into second place
Three errors in seventh cost Brooklyn top spot in McNamara Division
After having their season high-tying five-game winning streak snapped with a 6-2 loss to Lowell at Coney Island’s MCU Park on Tuesday evening, the Brooklyn Cyclones appeared primed for a bounce-back victory in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
But a trio of errors in the top of the seventh inning led to a heartbreaking 4-3 defeat to the Spinners in Game 2, dropping Brooklyn out of first place in the tight McNamara Division race and sending a disappointed crowd of 3,159 fans back onto Surf Avenue with a pair of losses instead of one feel-good win.
Cyclones starter Mitch Ragan, who has allowed one earned run or fewer in eight of his nine outings this summer, teamed with middle reliever Jared Biddy to hold Lowell to two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks over the first five frames of the nightcap.
Matt Mullenbach (1-1) tamed the Spinners in the top of the sixth but was undone by his own misplay and a couple of others by Brooklyn outfielders in the seventh.
Protecting a slim 3-2 lead, Mullenbach induced Kevin Suarez into an inning-opening comebacker to start the tragic frame, but the 6-foot-4 right-hander fired the throw past first baseman Gavin Garay, allowing Suarez to cruise to third before right fielder Raul Beracierta’s boot provided Lowell with a little-league home run.
Mullenbach surrendered an ensuing double to Samuel Miranda, who took third on Jake Mangum’s error in center field before Alex Erro gave Lowell the lead for good with a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3 in favor of the visitors.
Brooklyn got a pair of runners on in the bottom of the seventh, but Garay grounded out to end the Cyclones’ last hope, giving them back-to-back losses after they had won five in a row entering this four-game homestand.
Second baseman Yoel Romero went 0-for-6 during the double dip, snapping his team season-high 15-game hitting streak.
The 21-year-old Venezuelan fell just two shy of matching Lucas Duda’s club-record 17-game hitting streak back in 2007 but is still batting .305 for the summer and .333 over his last 10 contests.
Right-hander Matt Cleveland (3-2, 3.89 ERA) was slated to pitch for Brooklyn Wednesday night, hoping to help the Cyclones avert their first three-game losing streak since July 4-6.
The Baby Bums (25-18) have split their 22 home games thus far this summer, going 14-7 on the road.
They entered Wednesday’s action just one half-game behind Aberdeen for the division lead and hold a half-game edge over third-place Hudson Valley in what promises to be a race to the finish.
The Cyclones have not reached the New York-Penn League playoffs since 2012, a drought third-year manager Edgardo Alfonzo and his club are eager to end this year.
The first 2,000 fans attending Thursday’s Irish Night game at MCU will receive a Cyclones Shamrock Stripe jersey, courtesy of Budweiser. Gates will open at 6 p.m. for the series finale against Lowell with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m.
In other local pro sports news, the Brooklyn Nets continued their roster overhaul Tuesday by signing forward Deng Adel.
The 6-foot-7 native of South Sudan played in 19 games, including three starts, for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season after signing a two-way contract with the team last January.
Adel, a University of Louisville standout, averaged 1.7 points and 1.0 rebounds while averaging 10.2 minutes per contest for Cleveland.
He also appeared in 37 NBA G-League games last season, split between Raptors 905 (25 games) and the Canton Charge (12 games). He averaged 12.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists over 31.2 minutes per contest.
The 22-year-old competed for Houston’s NBA Summer League Team in Las Vegas earlier this month and will be on Team Australia at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China later this summer as he is a citizen of that nation.
The Nets, who made the biggest free-agent splash of the offseason with the acquisitions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, did not release terms of Adel’s deal, as per team policy.
But several news outlets are reporting that this is strictly a training camp signing, with the Nets holding the right to offer Adel a two-way contract if they so wish.
Durant, who will likely sit out most, if not all, of this coming campaign due to an Achilles injury suffered during Game 5 of last year’s NBA Finals as a member of the Golden State Warriors, told Nets general manager Sean Marks why he chose Brooklyn over his other suitors.
“I love the system. I love how you guys play,” Durant told Marks, who relayed the remarks on WFAN last week.
“I see how hard you guys play. … You were never out of games. We could never take you guys lightly.”
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