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Punchless Cyclones drop doubleheader to Yankees

The Brooklyn bats have been quiet of late, an unsettling trend that continued during a doubleheader against the Staten Island Yankees.

The Cyclones managed just eight hits and one run as they were swept out of Richmond County Bank, by scores of 5-0 and 3-1 Saturday night. The losses pulled the Baby Bombers within three games of first-place Brooklyn after they took four of the final five games between the rivals.

“In order for us to win we got to score,” Brooklyn manger Pedro Lopez said. “We got to get guys across the plate and we haven’t been able to do that.”

Their lone run in the two games came on an RBI groundout by Ralph Henriquez in the top of the second inning of Game 2 to tie the score at 1-1. The Cyclones have struggled to produce much of anything offensively following a 10-run explosion in a win against Staten Island on July 26. In the last five games Brooklyn has scored just 11 times and is 5-5 in their last 10 games overall.

They were hitting .217 as a team coming into the doubleheader. Even though they beat the Baby Bombers 3-0 on Thursday at KeySpan Park all three runs were scored without recording an RBI – two on errors and another on a balk.

“Pitching has taken us where we are right now,” Lopez said. “Somebody needs to step up and somebody needs to do it. Right now we are not getting that big hit.”

The lack of runs could have helped make up for a rocky performance from Game 1 starter James Fuller and wasted a strong outing from Brandon Moore in the nightcap. Both have been two of Brooklyn’s best starters this season.

Fuller allowed four straight doubles and three runs in the second inning. The lefty allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits, including a home run, and struck out five over six innings.

Moore, on the other hand, was brilliant outside of two mistakes. Francisco Santana led off the game with a solo homer and Justin Milo’s two-run shot in the fourth gave Staten Island the lead for good. The righty allowed just four hits, one walk and struck out nine. He is just four punch-outs behind Fuller for the club lead.

“He throws fastball, curveball, slider, change,” Lopez said of Moore. “Hitters don’t get the same look every time they go there.”

The McNamara division-leading Cyclones still find themselves in first place, but things are tighter. The second-place Yankees only trail by three games. Brooklyn now has two games with third place Hudson Valley, who are five behind, starting Monday.

“We just have to bounce back from these two losses tonight,” Lopez said…“It’s anybody’s season right now. In order for us to get it done we have to start hitting.”

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