For the second straight night, the Staten Island Yankees (30-31) had trouble generating offense against Tri-City’s pitching staff. Valleycats’ starter Joseph Musgrove held the Yankees to just one hit over six innings in a 6-1 win for the Tri-City Valleycats (42-20) over the Baby Bombers. With the loss and a Brooklyn win, Staten Island is now 3.5 games behind the Cyclones for the Wild Card lead.
Both teams were scoreless until the top of the third inning when Tri-City got on the board against Staten Island’s starter, David Palladino (5-5, 4.13). It was a run created by Palladino who would walk Jason Martin and have him get to third on a Palladino pickoff error and wild pitch. Later in the inning, Nick Tanielu would hit a single to center field to score Martin and give the Valleycats a 1-0 lead.
The fourth inning brought more trouble for Staten Island and again it came off of Palladino’s walks. After getting a double play after a leadoff walk, the Yankees’ pitcher would walk Ariel Ovando with two outs, allowing Alfredo Gonzalez to have the opportunity to hit a deep two-run homer to left field. Gonzalez’s third of the year made it 3-0 Tri-City.
Walks were the story of Palladino’s evening. While the Staten Island starter only gave up three runs on four hits in five innings and struck out three in the loss, the control was the issue as he had four walks in his outing, the most since his opening start of the season against Brooklyn (June 14).
“His fastball command wasn’t where it has been,” replied manager Mario Garza. “His secondary stuff was okay. Tonight, a couple of times, it [the fastball] was a little elevated and they made him pay for it. That’s a really good hitting team right there.”
As for the Baby Bombers’ offense tonight, the only hit for the team against Musgrove came in the third inning when Christopher Breen lined a single to center field to start the inning. Other than that, Musgrove had an easy outing, striking out four batters to improve his ERA to 2.91 on the season in 12 games.
Staten Island brought an aggressive approach to the plate against the right-hander with six of the 19 at-bats against him going for three pitches or less. I asked Garza after the game about if that was the gameplan going into the night:
“We had the same approach last time against him and we were a little more successful,” said Garza. “He’s an arm that lives in the low-mid 90’s and can even get upper and he’s around the zone. He beat us up today.”
Once Musgrove came out of the game for Chris Munnelly in the seventh inning, the Baby Bombers got on the board. With one out in the inning, Ty McFarland lined a home run to right field to cut the deficit to 3-1. For the Staten Island All-Star second baseman, it was his fourth home run of the season. Is that the hit that starts to get him going in a month where he is hitting .209?
“I hope so,” responded Garza. “It’s been a long year for him. He’s such a hard worker, he’s out there early every day trying to get better that sometimes it does take a toll on your body.
Tri-City would tack on insurance runs in the eighth and ninth against Staten Island reliever Rony Bautista. In the top of the eighth, left fielder Derek Fisher, the 37th pick in this year’s draft, homered to right center field to extend the lead to 4-1. It was Fisher’s first home run of the season. In the top of the ninth inning, Juan Santana hit a two-run single down the left field line to end the scoring for the Valleycats, leading to a final of 6-1. Bryan Radziewski would get the last six outs for Tri-City to pick up his first save of the season.
Staten Island will look to avoid the sweep this afternoon at 4:05 PM ET in their final game before the two-day All-Star break. Ty Hensley (0-0, 6.35) will make his third start for Staten Island and his first since August 4. He will go up against Tri-City’s Luis Ordosgoitti (2-4, 4.22).
Tags: Staten Island Yankees