Playing in the first game of a five-date road set on Wednesday night, the Aberdeen IronBirds dropped their second straight game, going down 9-1 to the host-team Staten Island Yankees.
Through Wednesday's contest, the IronBirds, who snapped a nine-game losing streak on Monday, are 2-11, which puts them at the bottom of the New York-Penn League's four-team McNamara Division, 3.5 games behind the third-place Hudson Valley squad.
Staten Island struck the first blow in the home half of the fourth, as the second Yankee hitter of the frame smacked a one-out, solo homer off Aberdeen starter David Baker. After retiring the third batter via strikeout, Baker issued a walk, which was followed by an RBI triple that put the hosts up 2-0. Before Staten Island could do anymore damage, Baker closed out the inning with a weak infield pop out.
The IronBirds were able to cut the lead on half during the top of the sixth, with leadoff hitter Chris Clinton starting Aberdeen's first scoring rally by reaching on an infield error. Clinton put himself in scoring position by swiping second base, but Aberdeen's Mychal Givens and Joe Velleggia were retired via strikeout and fly ball, respectively. With two down and his teammate on second, Wynston Sawyer delivered by lining a single to left field that allowed Clinton to motor home.
Now up by just one run, Staten Island padded their lead a bit in the bottom half of the sixth, with Baker surrendering another one-out, solo home run. Baker was replaced by reliever Sam Taveras after getting the second out, and Taveras proceeded to walk the next three batters in succession. With runners at every bag and needing an out to escape, Taveras ended the frame by coaxing a groundout to third baseman Connor Narron.
It wasn't until the eighth inning that the Yankees would break things open, first getting to reliever Orlando Alfonso for two earned runs on two hits. Enrico Jimenez came out of the Aberdeen bullpen and surrendered four runs on four walks and one hit before being lifted in favor on James Brandhorst, who exited the inning with a sacrifice fly, a strikeout and a fly out to center.
Aberdeen loaded the bases in the visiting half of the eighth, but the Yankees were able to escape the frame by getting Narron to hit into an inning-ending groundout.
At 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, Dudley Leonora was the only IronBird with more than one hit. Sawyer went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks.
Baker (0-1) went 5-2/3 innings, striking out six, walking one and allowing three earned runs on four hits in the loss.
'Birds lose a tight one
One night after ending their nine-game losing streak, the IronBirds were knocked off 1-0 at home by the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Aberdeen dropped the match-up despite outhitting their guests 5-4, and though the Cyclones were just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, the IronBirds went 0-for-8 in similar situations, leaving seven men on base in all.
Making his third start of the season, Aberdeen's Jake Cowan (0-2) came through with a fine outing, working through six innings in which he allowed just three hits, struck out five and issued two walks. Unfortunately for Cowan, two of the three hits he surrendered came in the top of the second, when Brooklyn tagged a pair of doubles and scored the game's lone run. As Aberdeen was unable to tie things up in its remaining eight at-bats, the IronBird starter was charged with his second loss of the year.
Taking over for Cowan in the seventh was Alex Schmarzo, who allowed one walk in two innings of hitless relief. Jose Mota came out of the bullpen in the ninth and closed things down for Aberdeen, striking out two, walking one, and surrendering one hit during one frame of work.
Sawyer was 2-for-3 with a double, which was Aberdeen's lone extra-base hit. Narron was the only other IronBird with multiple hits, as he went 2-for-3 with two singles. Leonora was 1-for-3 in the loss, while fellow IronBirds Riley Hornback and Cody Young both earned a pair of walks.
Losing streak ended
The Aberdeen IronBirds put the skid on a nine-game losing streak Monday night by nipping the visiting Brooklyn Cyclones, 4-3.
The winning rally started in the home half of the eighth when, with Aberdeen trailing 3-2, Clinton hit a two-out single. Mychal Givens then singled deep in the hole to shortstop, with Clinton advancing to third on the play. Velleggia's ball to right field was dropped, allowing Clinton to score and Givens reached third. The Cyclones second baseman dropped the relay throw and Givens raced home for the 4-3 lead.
Brooklyn went down in order in the top of the ninth, and Steve Mazur earned his first save of the year.
Aberdeen took a lead in the bottom of the second. Narron and Hornback each walked and with two outs, Leonora hit an RBI double that plated Narron, giving the IronBirds a 1-0 lead.