Across the first 22 innings of the Cyclones’ series with Jamestown, Brooklyn amassed all of 12 hits and one run, dropping the first two games. Manager Pedro Lopez wasn’t sure what was suddenly wrong with his team at KeySpan Park, the place they started out a franchise-best 9-0 and had lost six of seven recently.
“What I’m thinking about doing is we’ll wear our grey (uniforms),” he joked. “Whatever it takes.”
The ’Clones didn’t need an apparel change Sunday afternoon. Their bats made enough of a statement in Coney Island in an 8-4 victory over the Jammers that avoided a sweep.
First baseman Sam Honeck had four of the team’s 14 hits and scored three runs, outfielder Nick Santomauro clubbed a two-run homer and designated hitter Ralph Henriquez drove in two runs. Left-hander Mark Cohoon picked up his New York-Penn League-leading seventh win against just one loss, allowing three earned runs in seven strong innings.
The Cyclones (32-19) piled on runs, scoring in five different innings, keeping their lead in the McNamara Division over the rival Staten Island Yankees to three games.
“We had that killer instinct today,” Honeck said.
After getting two runs in the first – on RBI doubles by Honeck and Henriquez – Cohoon gave the lead immediately back in the second, where he was touched up for three runs on three hits. But Brooklyn took the lead in the fourth on Matt Gaski’s RBI single and Robbie Shields’ groundout. They scored two more in the fifth on Santomauro’s blast to right, the team’s first round-tripper to that part of the ballpark where the wind notoriously blows in, this year. They added one more in the sixth and another in the eighth.
“That ball was hit; it was smoked,” Lopez said of Santomauro’s shot. “He’s got tremendous power. He’s come a long way.”
The manager was pleased with his Nos. 3 and 4 hitters, Honeck and Santomauro, who batted cleanup for the first time this year. Lopez was unsure about putting the two first-year pros back-to-back, but he needed to give outfielder Luis Rivera and infielder Tyler Vaughn the day off, and there weren’t any other options.
“I had to do it sooner or later,” he said.
Honeck was visibly tired afterward. Coming off the 13-inning affair Saturday night, he said he got enough sleep, although he was weary. It didn’t seem to affect him at all.
Honeck was in the middle of almost every rally, singling three times and doubling once. The left-handed hitting first baseman had struggled recently, but bumped his averaged back up to .293.
“It was one of those days – right from the get-go, I felt great,” he said. “I woke up and started hitting.”