The Surf Avenue Sluggers were putting a licking on the Auburn Doubledays before the deluge came and sent over 6,000 Brooklyn fans scattering for cover. An angry storm rolled into Coney Island and blackened the sky before opening up in a downpour.
Prior to Mother Nature having her way, Sunday’s game was highlighted by Johan Santana’s rehabilitation appearance for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He started the game and pitched three innings, surrendering one hit, issuing one walk, and struck out three batters before exiting the game. He faced seventeen Auburn Doubleday hitters, and retired the side in order in the first and third innings.
In a rather remarkable relief effort, usual starting pitcher, Julian Hilario, came out of the bullpen to pitch five superlative innings and continued the shutout Johan Santana started. He pitched five full innings and faced twenty batters before the rains came down. Julian surrendered three hits, issued three walks, and struck out three batters.
The Cyclones struck for an early lead. Brandon Nimmo was hit by a pitch leading off Brooklyn’s at-bat in the first. Phillip Evans then walked. Both runners advanced on Jayce Boyd’s 5-3 ground-out. Kevin Plawecki drove them both home with a single, and advanced to second base on an errant throw from center field. Stefan Sabol’s RBI double knocked in Plawecki for the Cyclone’s third run.
In the second inning, the Surf Avenue Sluggers struck for another trio of runs. Dimas Ponce reached on an error to lead off the frame, and scored on Phillip Evans’ fifth home run of the season. Jayce Boyd later reached on a walk, and came around to score on Nelfi Zapata’s double. In the fourth inning, Nelfi Zapata drove in his second run of the game. His single scored Jayce Boyd who had also previously singled.
After a thirty-six minute delay, the eighth inning was completed, and the game was called. Brooklyn was awarded a 7-0 rain shortened victory. For his work over five innings, Julian Hilario was awarded his first win of the season, against three loses. Phillip Evans, Kevin Plawecki, and Neifi Zapata all had two RBI each. Kevin Plawecki was 3 for 4 at the plate, with a double, and two runs scored.
Over eight innings, the Cyclones pounded out nine hits, and were successful five times out of seventeen with runners in scoring position. They left nine runners on base.
Foul weather had its way in Jamestown as well. The Hudson Valley Renegades (30-16) game in Western New York was rained out against the Jammers. With their inactivity, and the Cyclones’ win Sunday evening, the Brooks (29-18) picked up a half on the McNamara Division’s first place Renegades, and now trail by a mere 1.5 games.
After winning the first two games of this series against Auburn, Game Three is scheduled for a brunch-time start on Monday. It’s get-away-day. Brooklyn is headed to New England where they’ll take on the Lowell Spinners; the Boston Red Sox affiliate.