For four innings, the Staten Island Yankees (12-13) had control of their rubber game against the Aberdeen Ironbirds on Tuesday night. However, the fifth inning was a huge issue for pitchers Jordan Cote and Tim Giel. Together, the two of them gave up seven runs in the inning before recording an out and seven runs in total en route to Aberdeen defeating Staten Island by a score of 9-2. While Staten Island did get two runs on the board, they left 13 men on base in the loss. It has been a rough stretch for the Baby Bombers, as they have lost five of their last six games as they get set to head on a six-game road trip.
The SI Yanks got on the board first in this game in the bottom of the first inning. After a Jose Javier walk and back-to-back singles by Chris Breen and Luis Torrens against Aberdeen starter Stephen Tarpley, left fielder Connor Spencer hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Javier and give Staten Island a 1-0 lead. The Baby Bombers would add another run in the fourth inning on a wild pitch by reliever Nik Nowottnick against Torrens that scored Devyn Bolasky to make the score 2-0.
Then, the unraveling happened for Staten Island starter Jordan Cote (0-1, 7.71). After Cote struck out five batters in the first four innings and held the Ironbirds to three hits, he gave up four runs, three of them earned in that fifth inning. Cote gave up back-to-back singles and made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt that allowed a run to score. Then, Aberdeen third baseman Austin Anderson hit a two-run single to center field that allowed two runs to score and give Aberdeen a 3-2 lead. That would end up being it for Cote, but he made some strides tonight despite giving up seven hits. Coming into tonight, Cote had only nine strikeouts in four games. He had over half that total tonight. Manager Mario Garza talked after the game about some of the positives the starter could take from the loss tonight as well as the need for him to finish games.
“The first four innings, he pounded the zone very well. He has a lot to take from that outing, a lot of positives,” replied Garza.
He would add about Cote’s outing:
“When you are in that situation, to finish an outing is every bit as important as every other inning,” added Garza. “You have to be able to finish.”
Even when Tim Giel came into the game, the hits kept on coming. After back-to-back singles, a RBI walk by Jamill Moquete and a third straight single, Giel finally got Steve Wilkerson to ground into a fielder’s choice for the inning’s first out. Wilkerson was the ninth batter of the Aberdeen fifth inning that saw ten hitters come to the plate and the team take a 7-2 lead.
In the top of the sixth inning, Hector Veloz would hit a triple to center field that scored Jay Gonzalez to give the Ironbirds a 8-2 lead. Gonzalez would drive in a run of his own in the seventh inning via a RBI single to right field. It was a great night for the Aberdeen center fielder who hd four hits in six-at bats in the win. Giel would give up five runs on seven hits in 2.2 innings of relief.
On the positive side for Staten Island’s offense, Luis Torrens went 2-for-5 at the plate, improving his batting average to .361 on the season and extending his hit streak to eight games. Devyn Bolasky, Staten Island’s center fielder, also went 2-for-5 with a double to improve his average to .321 in the loss. Bolasky has had eight hits over his last four games.
For Aberdeen, Nowottnick (1-1, 5.40) would get the win by throwing 3.1 innings of two-hit ball out of the bullpen while striking out four batters and walking one.
Staten Island will begin their six-game road trip Wednesday night at 7:05 ET against the Lowell Spinners (Boston Red Sox). The starter has yet to be announced for the Baby Bombers while Karsten Whitson will get the baseball for Lowell.