Oswalt dominates, Urena homers and the Cyclones win
The Brooklyn Cyclones are once again in the lead of the New York-Penn League wild-card race after a big 5-1 win over the Lowell Spinners where Jhoan Urena powered them with a home run and Corey Oswalt dominated on the mound to wrap up the series in Coney Island on Thursday night.
The Cyclones wasted no time in jumping head with a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Tomas Nido drove in John Mora and Michael Conforto with a bases loaded single. Unfortunately on that play Urena got thrown out at home and Nido got caught at second base so the inning ended on a double play thanks to two base-running mistakes that ruined what could have been an even bigger inning.
Still, the Cyclones were ahead with one of their best pitchers on the mound. Oswalt allowed one run, it wasn’t earned, on four hits, one walk and four strikeouts in six innings. That run came in the fifth after a runner reached on an error by Urena, a single and a groundout to make it 2-1 at the time.
That was quickly answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-1 when Adrian Abreu scored on a balk. Then the Cyclones added two more in the sixth to make it 5-1 when Conforto lead off with a single and Urena made up for his earlier mistakes with a two-run blast.
Brad Wieck came on in relief and made things interesting with four hits and a walk in two innings, but with the help of three strikeouts he escaped both innings unharmed. Gaither Bumgardner pitched a perfect ninth to close it out.
PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS: There are now 16 games left in the season and the Cyclones are a full game ahead of the Connecticut Tigers for first place in the wild-card race. There are still teams within striking distance including the Staten Island Yankees, who are now 1.5 games back after winning four in a row.
UP NEXT: The Cyclones are in Vermont this weekend for a three-game series. After that they have a two-game, home and away series against the Baby Bombers which could be a battle for wild card supremecy. As usual, the Cyclones have not announced a starter for Friday night.