Cyclones Bullpen Fails; Division Lead Shrinks

BROOKLYN- Staten Island Yankees second baseman Ryan Haag entered the game designated as the Papa John's "K-Man", meaning if he struck out three times in the game, every fan would receive a small Papa John's pizza. Haag didn't strike out three times, however did have the game winning two run single in the top of the eight inning with the game tied at three, giving the Yankees the 5-3 victory, their first this season over the Cyclones.

"It was a discouraging game" said manager Tony Tijerina. "We had opportunities early in the game that we missed, and that hurt us even more from my perspective."

Leading 1-0 in the second inning the Cyclones had bases loaded with 0 outs, however Corey Coles and Derran Watts struck out, and Dante Brinkley flied out to center field leaving the three runners on base. Two innings later the Cyclones had runners on second and third with one out and once again Watts and Brinkley failed to bring in the runners, both striking out.

"Having the bases loaded and runners in scoring position with 0 outs or less than 2 outs and striking out back to back twice is really tough to do and expect to win a game" Tijerina said.

The Cyclones bullpen has really disappointed the last nine games. The Cyclones have lost six of those games with three games being lost by the bullpen. Tijerina did not feel it was a result of a tired bullpen since it is a short season league and many of these relievers did not pitch much the first half of the season, and also he has made sure to give the relievers enough rest.

"You kind of go through these dead arm periods, just like you have hitting slumps. We are in one of those periods right now. Eventually our bullpen will bounce back. The key is not to go into this period for a long stretch of games" said the Cyclones manager.

Eddy Camacho (2-2) allowed as many runs Tuesday evening as he has allowed all year. He entered the game having allowed just two earned runs in his 26 innings of work, however picked up the loss, allowing two runs in his inning of work. Will Quaglieri who relieved starter Mike Swindell in the sixth inning pitched 1 1-3 innings allowing four hits and two runs. Jose Rodriguez pitched the ninth inning for the Cyclones and allowed a run on two hits.

"Camacho is a guy that will be key for us in the long run" said Tijerina.

"Rodriguez is a guy we need to get back on track. He has been struggling in his last several outings and that is highly disappointing for someone who has pitched at a higher level. He will be another key guy for us down the stretch on days that we don't use Rondon so we need to get him back on the right track fast."

Mike Swindell making his second start of the year against Staten Island went 5 2-3 innings allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out six. Swindell has allowed just one run in his ten plus innings of work against this Yankees team, however reached his count of 85, which forced Tijerina to remove him from the game.

"That is an organizational policy, and I agree with that 100%, especially at this level. The pitchers understand that as well, and Mike probably felt he could have gone two more innings but that is one guideline we stick to hard."

The Cyclones head to Staten Island Wednesday with Joe Williams (4-2 2.37) facing Yankee starter TJ Beam (1-2 3.02). The two teams return to KeySpan Park for the series finale on Thursday. Evan MacLane (3-3 3.64) will take the mound for the Cyclones while Jesse Hoover (1-0 2.41) will start for Staten Island. In 33.2 innings of work Hoover has struck out 55 batters.

Notes: With Hudson Valley's 8-3 victory over New Jersey the Cyclones have just a ½ game lead in the McNamara Division. New Jersey is third 3.5 back and Aberdeen at 26-26 is 4 back. The Cyclones have two games left against Aberdeen, both at home. They have three games left against New Jersey, two away and one home. Five games remain between the Cyclones and Hudson Valley just two of those at KeySpan Park. Brooklyn and Hudson Valley end the season with a three games series…The Cyclones are now 23-16 all time against Staten Island…Tyler Davidson reached base in a league best 34 consecutive games with a single in the fifth inning.

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