August 10 at Staten Island
All-Star Gaby Almonte pitched eight shutout innings in the Cyclones’ 7–0 win against the hated Staten Island Yankees.
Brooklyn’s win was the 100th victory over the Evil Empire of the New York-Penn League and brought the Cyclones to within a half-game of first place.
Almonte’s gem came on a night when the Cyclones only had two relievers available. After allowing a second-inning double, the righty starter retired the next 20 Yankees before allowing a single and a walk to open the ninth.
“Almonte pitched a masterpiece,” raved Clones skipper Tom Gamboa. “He pitched the game of his life. That’s why we gave him a chance to finish it.”
Reliever Ty Williams gave up a single but then recorded a strikeout and a double-play grounder to end the game.
The Cyclones took a second-inning lead as David Thompson doubled, moved to third on a single from Hengelbert Tojas, and scored on a Yoel Espinal wild pitch.
Brooklyn kept the hits coming in the third as Tucker Tharp singled and scored on a hit-and-run double from Vinny Siena. Siena scored on a Jeff Diehl single.
As Almonte kept cruising, the Cyclones kept scoring. In the fifth, Thompson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Diehl followed with a run-scoring single.
Thompson added a run-scoring double in the seventh and Enmanuel Zabala was plunked with the bases loaded in the eighth.
The result was a rare, easy win for the Cyclones.
Tharp, Siena, Thompson, Diehl and Alfredo Reyes had two hits apiece. Rojas went one-for-four.
Almonte’s pitching not only kept Staten Island off the board, but ensured that Pedro Perez would not need to pitch emergency relief.
“Tonight could’ve been really ugly,” Gamboa said. “We needed Almonte to give us the full hundred pitches and he did.”
The 25–24 Cyclones host the hated Staten Island Yankees on Tuesday at 7 pm. The winner will take first place in the McNamara Division.