Norfolk 7, Buffalo 5
By Andrew O’Brien
The Buffalo Bisons led 3-1 in the fifth inning, but the Norfolk Tides exploded for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night en route to a 7-5 win in the opening game of a four-game series. Colin McHugh got his first Triple-A start after getting promoted from Binghamton on Sunday. McHugh (0-1) went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits while striking out five and walking four.
Buffalo scored in the first inning on a Matt den Dekker solo homer. But Norfolk responded in the bottom of the first when Xavier Avery scored on a Miguel Tejada sacrifice fly. The Bisons scored two runs in the top of the fifth on a den Dekker sacrifice fly and then a Fred Lewis groundout in which Ronny Cedeno scored.
The Tides got things started in the sixth with back-to-back singles by Joe Mahoney and Bill Hall. With nobody out, McHugh walked LJ Hoes to load the bases. Following a strikeout of Blake Davis, Chris Robinson roped a line-drive double to clear the bases and later scored after making it to third on an error by Cedeno to make it 5-3.
Buffalo scored two runs in the eighth inning, but their rally fell short.
Den Dekker continues to produce. He’s hitting in the third spot of the Bisons order after batting leadoff upon his call-up. On Monday, den Dekker went 2-for-4 with a double, a solo homer and two RBIs. He’s hitting .261 with Triple-A. (Perhaps he took out some frustration after his alma mater, the Florida Gators, were ousted in the College World Series in two games.)
In six games with Buffalo, den Dekker has two home runs, three RBIS, one stolen base and three doubles.
Cedeno continued his rehab assignment playing nine innings at shortstop and going 1-for-5 with one strikeout. He left three men on base.
Corey Wimberly was the DH for Buffalo Monday night and went 4-for-5 with one RBI.
Herd Rumblings: To make room for Colin McHugh’s debut today, RHP Jeff Stevens was transferred to Binghamton. Stevens reliever was 0-1 with a 4.33 ERA in 22 relief appearances with the Herd. Even with Monday’s loss at Harbor Park, the Herd are still 37-20 overall on Norfolk’s home turf. As a team, Buffalo left 20 baserunners on base in Monday night’s loss, including five by catcher Rob Johnson and four by second baseman Josh Satin. Buffalo (37-34) continues its four-game series against Norfolk 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. Buffalo is 6-11 in their past seven games and has lost five in a row.
Bradenton 6, St. Lucie 5
By Clayton Collier
Coming off a St. Lucie-riddled South in the Florida State League’s 6-3 victory over the North, the Mets were unable to keep momentum going into the opener of their second half as they fell to the Bradenton Marauders by a score of 6-5.
Angel Cuan got the nod to kick off the second half for St. Lucie and cashed in a respectable six innings allowing two runs on seven hits, taking the loss. In the First, Marauders shortstop Kirk Singer hit a solo homer, his first of the year, to be the first to draw blood off of Cuan. Then again in the fourth, Cuan allowed a run in the form of a Carlos Mesa single to score Andy Vasquez and stake the opposition to a 2-1 lead.
After Cuan’s day was finished, Ramon Ramirez took the mound for his first rehab appearance since straining his hamstring in the celebration of Johan Santana’s no-hitter two weeks ago, and blew the game for the Mets. Allowing five singles, Ramirez allowed three runs and had absolutely no command. It appears Ramirez has yet to be useful with the Mets no matter what the level of pro-ball is.
The Mets lineup, after having little success against Bradenton starter Colton Cain. Their only run off of Cain came when Ruben Tejada hit a leadoff double then came around to score on a Wilmer Flores groundout. Once his day was done and St. Lucie got into the Marauders’ bullpen, they mounted a comeback.
After scoring a run on a Cory Vaughn RBI single, the Mets really came close to coming all the way back when they scored three runs in the ninth on the strength of back-to-back home runs by Alonzo Harris and Richard Lucas, but fell short 6-5 as they dropped the opener of the three game set.
Lucie Logistics: Ruben Tejada went 1-5 with a double and a run scored in his first rehab start since aggravating his injury in Buffalo last week. Francisco Pena went 3-4 on the evening and has raised his average to .261 on the year. Wilmer Flores, coming off his exceptional all-star performance, took an 0-4 in the loss, dropping to .294 on the season. Despite his 0-4 however, Flores did pick up an RBI, his team-leading 41st of the season. The Mets continue their series at Bradenton against the Marauders starting at 6:30pm.
Brooklyn 2, Staten Island 0
By Joe D.
The Brooklyn Cyclones opened their season with a 2-0 victory against their division rival Staten Island Yankees on Monday night at MCU Park.
With Juan Urbina working out of the bullpen to start the season, right-hander Gabriel Ynoa got the Opening Night start and he didn’t disappoint throwing six shutout innings and allowing just three hits, no walks, and fanning four batters.
All eyes were on Brandon Nimmo who making his 2012 debut after three months in extended spring training. Nimmo would go 0-for-3 at the plate, but it would be his eight inning walk that started the rally and put the Cyclones ahead when he scored the game-winning run.
SS Phillip Evans went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, while DH Alex Sanchez contributed two hits for the Cyclones.
The Cyclones sent out sidewinding reliever Tyler Vamderheiden to close it out the ninth, and he earned the save by striking out the final two Yankees to end the game. Not a bad debut for the 2012 19th round selection.
Brooklyn Brew: With the win, the ‘Clones are now 10-2 in their season openers. The Cyclones will travel to Staten Island tomorrow night at 7:00 PM to take on the Yankees. They will return home on Thursday, June 21st to take on the Yankees again at 7:00 PM.
Check out our own Jim Mancari’s Brandon Nimmo photo blog from the game, and here is a video of shortstop Phillip Evans during the post game presser.