ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 26, 2023) — There was no nail-biting in the ninth inning this time. After back-to-back games that went down to the final out, RHP Luis A. Rodríguez tossed a perfect final frame to earn the save in his team debut, as the Brooklyn Cyclones bested the Asheville Tourists, 8-5, on Saturday evening at McCormick Field.
With the victory, the Cyclones (32-21, 60-58) will remain in first place by at least one game over the Jersey Shore BlueClaws in the South Atlantic League North Division with 13 games remaining in the regular season.
Scoreless through four innings, Brooklyn (32-21, 60-58) erupted in a big way in the top of the fifth.
The Cyclones loaded the bases on an infield knock by 2B D’Andre Smith, a LF Omar De Los Santos single to left, and C Christian Pregent’s rope off the base of the right-field wall. 3B Chase Estep followed with a two-run single to center to grab the game’s first runs.
DH Kevin Parada and RF Stanley Consuegra capped the inning with RBI singles to center, giving Brooklyn a 4-0 advantage.
After Asheville (20-33, 46-68) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run LF Zach Cole home run to center — his eighth in the South Atlantic League — the ‘Clones hung another crooked number in the top of the seventh.
CF Jett Williams walked to start the inning and scooted to third on Parada’s second hit of the game. 1B Ryan Clifford followed with a sacrifice fly to center to push Brooklyn’s lead back to three, 5-2.
Consuegra kept the offense rolling with a single to left that advanced Parada to third. After a pitching change and a swipe of second base, SS William Lugo smashed a two-run knock to center to give the Cyclones a game-high five-run lead, 7-2.
The Tourists immediately responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs with two outs on a wild pitch and a two-run single through the right side by 3B Justin Williams.
Leading 7-5 entering the ninth, Brooklyn added an unusual insurance run in the frame.
The Cyclones loaded the bases on a dropped third strike wild pitch, an infield single by Lugo, and a walk to Smith. De Los Santos stepped up and struck out on a 1-2 pitch, but the ball scooted to the backstop. Consuegra scored from third base to increase the margin to three.
RHP Jordan Geber (3-1) was impressive in his second start since being reinstated off the injured list. The 24-year-old yielded two runs on four hits over 5.1 innings, striking out six, to earn his third win.
RHP Joe Joe Rodríguez punched out five in his Cyclones’ debut, earning a hold. Luis A. Rodríguez retired the side in the ninth on two ground balls and a pop-up to collect the save in his.
RHP Joey Mancini (1-7) posted four shutout innings to start the game, but yielded four runs in the fifth, suffering his seventh defeat.
The Cyclones will try to improve their win streak to a season-best five in Sunday afternoon’s series finale. RHP Robert Colina (3-4, 3.64 ERA) is expected to get the ball for the Cyclones against the Tourists’ RHP Nic Swanson (0-2, 4.89 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.