STATEN ISLAND – Even the rain could not cool off the Yankees.
Staten Island entered Saturday night’s matchup with the Tri-City ValleyCats with a league best 7-2 mark, and despite a 93-minute rain delay, the Yankees rolled to a 3-0 victory at home on “Women in Sports” night.
“They keep going out there and playing hard,” said Staten Island manager Julio Mosquera about his club. “They’re running hard, making contact when you need to make contact, and everything is working so far. We just have to keep teaching them and keep working them out there.”
The team did not seem phased by the extended delay early on as the Yankees (8-3) loaded the bases with no outs to start the second inning. Staten Island second baseman Danienger Perez came to plate and drove in two of those runners with a single into right field, and then designated hitter Manny Argomaniz (batting in the No. 9 spot) plated another runner with a seeing-eye hit through the left side of the infield.
“We keep the guys loose in here,” Mosquera said when asked how the rain delay may have affected his team. “I just kept talking to them and keeping them updated on what they had to do prior to the game. But, they were relaxed in there. I told them to have some fun, do what you gotta do, and get your mind right so that when the game is about to start you’re ready to go.”
No one was more ready to go than starter Alex Vargas. Vargas (2-0) gave the Yankees six strong shutout innings, where he scattered three hits and walked only two while striking out five. Vargas did not surrender his first hit until the fourth inning, and sat the ValleyCats (4-7) down in order in four of his six innings pitched.
“He showed me some confidence,” Mosquera said of his starter. “He was mixing his breaking ball, you know, mixing his off-speed pitches. He showed me that he’s learning how to pitch, he used different sequences, so that’s one of the biggest things we want these guys to know.
“He got in some trouble (in the first and the sixth), but whenever he did he made some pitches to get out of the inning and I thought he was pretty good. I like to see that from my young guy.”
“I felt good out there today,” Vargas said. “I thought I mixed my pitches well and I attacked the hitters. [Getting that early lead] gave me confidence to go right at hitters. If I let one or two on, it didn’t really matter.”
Three pitchers came out of the bullpen for Staten Island to complete the final three innings and combined to only give up one hit the rest of the way.
Although the ValleyCats did load the bases with two outs in the ninth inning, Eduardo Rivera promptly shut the door to end the game and pick up the save.
“I’m happy with the way they’ve been working and I’m happy with the pitching out there,” Mosquera said. “So, we’ll see how long it lasts and I’ve got confidence in each guy out there.”
The Yankees continue their three-game set with the ValleyCats on Sunday at home. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.
Kendall Coleman continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-3 on Saturday night with a run scored. Here’s what Julio Mosquera had to say about his left fielder after the game:
“He’s swinging the bat really well right now. The last few days he’s been hot, swinging the bat good, putting some good contact on the ball. So, that’s good to see from him. He’s been working really hard with the hitting coach so it’s good to see it paying off in the game.”