Every official baseball game features a top of the third inning.
The Brooklyn Cyclones (23-24) likely wish that were not the case after a 4-1 loss to the Connecticut Tigers – the Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers – Tuesday night.
The Tigers scored all four of their runs – three of which were unearned – in the top of the third. Lefty starter Dario Alvarez hit the leadoff man and walked the second batter, which proved to be a recipe for disaster. The loss drops him to 1-4 on the year after he lasted four innings while giving up all four runs.
The Cyclones were coming off a six-game road trip in which the team finished 3-3. But they came out extremely flat to start the game.
“Everything was slow,” said Cyclones’ manager Rich Donnelly. “We played bad in the field and gave them three unearned runs. The game is supposed to flow at a good pace. It didn’t flow at a good pace from the first pitch on.”
Alvarez allowed the leadoff man to reach in each of the first two innings but was able to strand a runner in scoring position each time. However, it was the third inning that did him in.
Tigers’ second baseman Dominic Ficociello delivered a two-RBI single, and then Connecticut scored a run on a throwing error by Cyclones’ catcher Colton Plaia on a double steal. Tigers’ designated hitter Kasey Coffman capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.
Brooklyn’s offense had managed to score at least five runs in each of the last five games, but the Cyclones only scratched out one run Tuesday on a fourth-inning RBI single by third baseman Juan Gamboa.
Recently-named All-Star second baseman L.J. Mazzilli doubled to left with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, but from the point on, Brooklyn had only one baserunner – a one-out walk to right fielder James Roche in the bottom of the ninth.
One bright spot of the game for the Cyclones was the five scoreless innings of relief from righty Dawrin Frias. Even more impressive was that nine of the 15 outs Frias recorded came via the strikeout.
“Dawrin did great,” Donnelly said. “He helped us out a lot, and he deserved to go out there. Five innings, nine punch outs, two hits, no walks…that was really good to see from him.”
The Cyclones will be right back in action Wednesday against the Tigers for a rare 11 a.m. start for the August camp day. All-Star righty Rob Gsellman aims for his third win of the season for Brooklyn.
Click here to view the complete box score of this game.