STATEN ISLAND, NY – Coming off a dramatic walk-off victory against the Brooklyn Cyclones on Wednesday, the Staten Island Yankees were looking to continue their inspired play and clinch another series win at home, but it did not happen on this night as they fell to Brooklyn 7-5 after leading for much of the evening.
Staten Island drew the assignment of one of the most formidable pitchers in the New York-Penn League, Justin Dunn, a first-round pick out of Boston College, who entered Thursday’s play with a 0.50 ERA.
Unlike his previous outing against Vermont, Dunn had difficulty with location and the Baby Bombers took advantage, sending eight men to the plate and scoring four runs in the second inning, capped off by consecutive RBI singles from Angel Aguilar and Kendall Coleman.
“When you look at the first inning, Justin struck out the first two hitters but from the first pitch of the second inning, he did not have any location and the strikes he threw were in the middle of the plate and it was the first time I have seen him get hit hard this year,” Brooklyn Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa said.
Staten Island continued its damage on Dunn when Drew Bridges clubbed his fifth home run of the season to center field to add another run to the ledger. Dunn departed after three innings, allowing five hits and five runs (three earned) in his first start since the All-Star break.
“It was a struggle for Dunn. He was hit hard at times, but he was able to pitch his three innings and we were able to pick him up,” Gamboa continued.
Making his ninth start of the season, DeCarr continued his recent surge of success on the mound with an impressive home outing. After striking out the side to open the game in the first inning, DeCarr did not allow a hit until Desmond Lindsay‘s infield single in the fourth inning.
“It was a good start. I was aggressive and attacking the hitters in the first three innings. I kind of got away from things by the time I got to the fifth inning. There is still some stuff to work on and get back at it next week,” DeCarr said.
The Cyclones tagged DeCarr for a run on a Blake Tiberi RBI single in the fourth but he curtailed any additional damage, going 4.1 innings, allowing three hits, two runs, and struck out four. DeCarr has allowed just four runs in his last 19.1 innings and lowered his ERA to 3.44 for the season.
“DeCarr has pitched well. These last few outings he has got a lot better feel for the strike zone. He is locating better in the zone and he has a good breaking ball. He keeps getting better,” Staten Island Yankees manager Dave Bialas said.
The Cyclones, who scuffled against DeCarr, scored three runs in the fifth to cut the Staten Island margin to 5-4, highlighted by a Bridges error at third base with Lindsay at the plate to cap off the inning.
Brooklyn took the lead in the eighth inning when Franklin Pierce alum Jay Jabs knocked home two against Chad Taylor to give Brooklyn a 7-5 lead. The combination of Raul Jacobson, Adam Atkins, and Joseph Zanghi combined for six scoreless innings out of the bullpen to pick up Dunn and even the series.
“We just were not able to add on to our lead after we scored the five runs. After scoring four runs in the second and had the home run by Bridges in the third, we really didn’t do much offensively. They pitched well against us,” Bialas said.
Dom Thompson-Williams, who was the hero of Staten Island’s series opening win with two runs scored, left Thursday’s game in the second inning with a hand injury and was replaced by Ben Ruta. The club will wait and see if the injury heals and may turn to Timmy Robinson to play center field in his absence.
The Baby Bombers will look to take the series on Friday with Simon De La Rosa on the mound on #BeatBKLYN Night at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.