Scrappers split doubleheader in Staten Island
Defensive miscues prove costly in game one while bats decide game two
STATEN ISLAND, NY – On Sunday, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and Staten Island Yankees took part in a daytime doubleheader at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Game one featured excellent pitching by the Staten Island staff, with the Yankees ultimately coming away with a 3-0 victory. Caleb Hamrick (1-5, 4.81 ERA) continued to struggle for Mahoning Valley, but defensive miscues plagued the Scrappers once again.
The game cruised through 3 ½ innings scoreless until the Yankees offense finally broke through. The inning started out with leadoff hitter Jose Rosario reaching on a fielding error by right fielder Jose Romero. Hamrick followed up the error by walking Daniel Lopez, which set the table for a two-run double by Bubba Jones. The RBI’s were Jones 16th and 17th of the year, moving him into the top-15 in the league. Hamrick then settled in a bit, getting two consecutive outs and keeping Jones at third base until he threw a wild pitch that allowed Jones to score. Hamrick finished the game lasting four innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on three hits, three walks, and four strikeouts.
The offense struggled to gain any traction against starting pitcher Conner Kendrick and the Staten Island staff as a whole. Kendrick was making his first start of the season and entered the game with an ERA north of 9.00. Though Mahoning Valley had base runners in each inning, Kendrick was able to work out of each unscathed. The Scrappers were only able to muster up four hits, all singles. Josh McAdams was the only Scrappers hitter with multiple hits. Juan Herrera and James Roberts both added a single.
For Staten Island, Kendrick threw three scoreless innings while allowing three hits and two walks. Charles Haslup (1-0, 2.08) earned the win in relief while throwing two scoreless innings. Kelvin Castro earned his second save of the year by hurling two scoreless innings, as well. At the plate, Staten Island also only notched four hits, but the two-run double by Jones was enough to seal the deal. Jones finished with two hits, while Eric Jagielo and Yeicok Calderon each added a single.
Game two featured a little more offense, and the Scrappers were able to split the day with the 7-3 victory. Starting pitcher Robert Whitenack had a big day on the mound, and Nellie Rodriguez launched his fifth home run to ensure the win. After struggling through two starts earlier in the month, Whitenack has now strung together back-to-back strong outings. Whitenack was able to lower his ERA to 3.51 following Sunday, and his record now sits at 2-4. His final line –five innings pitched, five hits, zero runs, zero walks, and six strikeouts- shows Whitenack’s command of the strike zone and ability to miss bats. Kyle Crockett threw a perfect inning in relief before Rafael Homblert entered in the seventh. Homblert allowed three earned runs in the inning, two on a home run by leadoff hitter Brandon Thomas, his third of the year. The outing ballooned Homblert’s ERA to 8.51 on the year.
Offensively for the Scrappers, Rodriguez led the way, going 2-4 with a home run, three RBI’s and two runs scored. After hitting just .194 with the Lake County Captains prior to the New York-Penn League starting, Rodriguez is now hitting .333 through 33 games with Mahoning Valley, good for fifth in the league. His 22 RBI’s are tied for fourth best, and his five home runs put him in a tie for fifth in the league. Aside from Rodriguez, the Mahoning Valley offense showed resiliency in pumping out 10 hits after struggling in game one. Juan Herrera and Robel Garcia each had two hits. Herrera scored two runs and recorded a double and Garcia scored a run and tallied his fifth stolen base of the year.
For the Yankees, Thomas did most of the damage offensively. He finished game two going 3-4 with a home run, a double, two RBI’s and a run scored. Second baseman Jerison Lopez added a single and an RBI. Rookie Davis (2-2, 2.89) took the loss on the hill, lasting four innings while surrending five runs, three of which were earned.
The teams will play the rubber match Monday at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Dace Kime will take the mound for Mahoning Valley. Kime sports a 3.00 ERA on the season to go along with a 0.83 WHIP. David Palladino will make his fourth start for Staten Island, trying to rebound from a rough outing on July 17th against Batavia. In that start, Palladino lasted just 2 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks. First pitch is scheduled for 11:00 am.