July 11 at MCU Park
Kevin Canelon limited Aberdeen to one run on two hits over six-and-one-third innings as the first-place Cyclones improved to 15–6 with a 2–1 victory over the IronBirds.
Brooklyn scored both runs on Pedro Perez’s two-run single in the second. A key play in the inning was a double steal ordered by Tom Gamboa. With David Thompson on second and Brandon Brosher on first, Zach Mathieu worked the count full.
“It was a 3–2 count on Mathieu, and I knew with no doubt that they were throwing a breaking ball on 3–2 because Zach had looked bad at previous ones,” Gamboa said. “So we had an edge to start the runners on an off-speed pitch. And normally on 3–2, we’re running more often that we’re not.”
Because of the aggressive play, Perez’s single scored two runs instead of one. What made the hit even better was who he did it in front of.
“Hats off to Pedro Perez,” Gamboa said. “His parents flew all the way from Colombia to see four games, and he got a hit last night and played great defense at first base, so we played him again today and, lo and behold, he gets the game-winning hit.”
Canelon gave up a home run to Drew Turbin in the fourth. It would be the final hit Canelon gave up.
After walking D.J. Stewart to lead off the seventh, Canelon fell behind designated hitter Randy Gassaway 3–0 before getting him to fly out to left.
Gamboa called on Carlos Valdez who recorded five outs.
Alex Palsha set down Aberdeen in order in the ninth to pick up his fifth save. He has not allowed a run in eight appearances this season. Palsha likes the responsibility of being the closer but acknowledged he’s not the only reliever having success.
“I feel like we have other pitchers that are dominant. Our whole bullpen has been lights-out.”
The Cyclones and IronBirds meet again on Sunday in Brooklyn at 5 pm.
Brandon Brosher was the only player with two hits in the game. Brooklyn finished with five of the eight.
More than 7,000 fans came out for “Star Wars” night and the fireworks following the Cyclones victory.