WILMINGTON, Del. (July 9, 2023) — RHP Cameron Foster punched out a career-high nine over 5.2 innings, but it was a four-run eighth and two-run ninth that helped propel the Cyclones to their sixth win in seven tries. Brooklyn bested the Wilmington Blue Rocks, 7-2, on Sunday afternoon at Frawley Stadium.
Trailing 2-1 entering the eighth, 3B William Lugo singled to left and moved to second on a one-out fielding error. 1B Chase Estep followed with a game-tying single to right, knotting the score at two. LF Omar De Los Santos subsequently slapped a go-ahead knock to left, placing Brooklyn (11-4, 39-41) back in front, 3-2.
Following a pitching change, Estep and De Los Santos completed a successful double steal of third and second, respectively. De Los Santos’ second swipe of the day gave him 32 on the season, matching Walter Rasquin’s single-season record set back in 2017.
After a strikeout, SS César Berbesi provided insurance. The 23-year-old roped a two-run double into the right-field corner to give the Cyclones a game-high, three-run lead, 5-2.
In the ninth, Brooklyn put the game out of reach. DH Kevin Parada earned a walk to start the inning and quickly scored from first on a double to left-center from Lugo. RF Stanley Consuegra trailed with a ground ball to short that snuck underneath the fielder’s mitt. Lugo scampered home on the error to stretch the ‘Clones cushion to five, 7-2.
RHP Paul Gervase entered in the bottom of the ninth and retired the Blue Rocks in order to lower his ERA to 1.04 and secure Brooklyn’s five-run triumph.
In the top of the fourth, Brooklyn snatched their first lead. Consuegra was plunked by a pitch to lead off the inning and moved to third on a broken-bat double to left by C Drake Osborn. Estep put the ‘Clones ahead, 1-0, with a sacrifice fly to center.
Wilmington (5-10, 34-45) squeezed in front with single runs in the sixth and seventh.
In the sixth, 2B Viandel Peña walked with one out, moved to second on a balk, stole third, and scored on a two-out single to center by DH Will Frizzell.
An inning later, 1B T.J. White coaxed a leadoff walk and moved to second when C Caleb Farmer was plunked. Following a fielder’s choice and a shallow fly out to center, 3B Lucius Fox dunked a run-producing single to right, giving the ‘Rocks a 2-1 edge at the time.
Foster was phenomenal for the Cyclones but also received the help of his defense. With the bases full and two out in the bottom of the third, CF Alex Ramírez leaped to rob RF Jared McKenzie of a grand slam.
The 24-year-old finished the day with a career-best nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings. Foster walked only two and permitted just one run in a no-decision.
RHP Kyle Luckham picked up a no-decision, as well, for Wilmington. The right-hander allowed just one run on three hits over six innings.
RHP Manny Rodríguez (2-3) collected his second win for Brooklyn in relief. The 27-year-old yielded a run over 1.1 innings. RHP Jace Beck garnered a hold after striking out the side in order in the eighth.
RHP Chance Huff (2-4) was charged with four runs (one earned) over 1.1 frames of relief, suffering his fourth loss for the Blue Rocks.
Following the All-Star break, the Cyclones will return home to open up a three-game series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the High-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, on Friday night at Maimonides Park. Neither team has announced a probable starter for the lid-lifter. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.