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Rodriguez's career night not enough, Scrappers fall 7-5

Mahoning Valley falls despite two home runs from Rodriguez

Rodriguez's career night not enough, Scrappers fall 7-5
Nellie Rodriguez (Photo: Lianna Holub)
July 17, 2013
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Brooklyn, NY – Just two days removed from a 12-game losing streak-ending victory, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ defense allowed three unearned runs and the Scrappers fell to the Brooklyn Cyclones 7-5.  The defense, which has recorded multiple errors in 14 of the team’s last 15 games, committed two errors in the bottom of the third inning which allowed the go-ahead runs to score. 

In that decisive third inning, the Cyclones led the inning off with a single followed by a hit-batsman.  Juan Carlos Gamboa, who later homered, then attempted a sacrifice bunt but pitcher Harold Guerrero committed a throwing error.  The miscue led to one unearned run.  Later in the inning, second baseman Paul Hendrix committed a fielding error, which led to two unearned runs. 

The Mahoning Valley offense put together a relatively strong outing, thanks mostly to the performance of first baseman Nellie Rodriguez, but ultimately failed to produce in key moments.  Rodriguez put together a career game, going 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double, two runs scored, and five RBI.  His .321 batting average is in the top-10 of the league and his 19 RBI moves him into first place amongst New York-Penn League batters.  Aside from Rodriguez, the offense failed to generate any runs and the team finished just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. 

Mahoning Valley starting pitcher Dace Kime made his third start of the season, again being held to a strict inning-count of two, and took the loss.  The right-hander allowed one run on two hits and zero walks while striking out two.  Through his three starts, Kime has surrendered just two earned runs, good for a 3.00 ERA to go along with a 6:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Brooklyn offense, which entered the game last in the New York-Penn League in runs scored, were able to manufacture seven runs on 12 hits against the Mahoning Valley pitching staff.  Second baseman L.J. Mazzilli, who entered the game in the top-20 in the league with a .299 batting average, led the way going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI.  Designated hitter Alex Sanchez and right fielder Eris Peguero both went 2-for-4 with an RBI, respectively. 

The loss drops Mahoning Valley to 8-22 while Brooklyn improves to 13-16.  The Scrappers and Cyclones will meet again Thursday for game two of the three-game set.  Mahoning Valley will send Kenny Mathews to the mound.  Mathews, a 2013 seventh-round selection out of Riverside City College, is making his fourth start of the year and will carry a 3.00 ERA into Thursday’s start, to go along with a record of 0-1.  The lefty earned a reputation as a precise pitcher with exceptional accuracy while at Riverside, compiling a ridiculous 52:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his senior year.  Brooklyn’s starting pitcher has yet to be determined.  First pitch is set for 7:05 pm.  

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