After snapping a 10-game losing streak in Brooklyn on Thursday night, the IronBirds fell to the Cyclones, 5-2 on Friday. The Cyclones plated four runs in the third inning while their pitching staff combined to strike out 17 Birds in the victory.
The first two and a half innings of Friday night's contest had the signs of a pitcher's duel but in the bottom of the third, the Cyclones tagged LHP Cameron Coffey for four runs. With two out and 2B Juan Gamboa on second, SS Phillip Evans blasted a two-run shot to left field. Evans' third homer of the season put Brooklyn in front, 2-0. Next, C Kevin Plawecki was hit by a pitch and 1B Cole Frenzel followed with a RBI triple to right field. With three runs home in the frame, LF Stefan Sabol capped off Brooklyn's big inning with a RBI double to left-center. In all, the Cyclones plated four runs on four hits in the bottom of the third.
RHP Rainy Lara made his second start of the season on Friday night and was perfect through four innings. 3B Torsten Boss broke up Lara's perfect game when he led off the fifth with a triple off the wall in right field. Up next, 1B Cameron Edman singled home Boss to put the IronBirds on the board.
2B Jerome Pena put an end to Lara's night when he blasted a solo homer to right field in the sixth inning. In 5.2 innings of work, Lara was impressive. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out a career-high 10.
Bech Wheeler, Juan Urbina, and Matt Bowman closed out the victory for the Cyclones. The trio did not surrender a run over 3.1 innings. Lara, Wheeler, Urbina, and Bowman combined to strike out the Birds 17 times on Friday night.
Out of the Aberdeen bullpen, Ken Wise tossed two scoreless innings while Dustin Ward surrendered one run on two hits over two innings.
Cameron Coffey (0-2) got the loss in his second start of the season. Rainy Lara (2-0) notched the win for the Cyclones and Matt Bowman picked up the save in his first professional appearance.
The IronBirds and Cyclones will meet on Saturday night in the rubbermatch of the three-game series in Brooklyn. RHP Sebastian Vader (0-1, 8.00) will make his third start of the season for Aberdeen. The Cyclones will counter with RHP Gabriel Ynoa (1-0, 1.50). First pitch from MCU Park is set for 6:00 p.m. with coverage beginning at 5:45 p.m. on the IronBirds Radio Network.
Aberdeen returns home on Sunday for the start of a three-game series against the Staten Island Yankees. Monday night at Ripken Stadium is Superhero night while fireworks will follow Tuesday night's game in Aberdeen. For tickets, contact the IronBirds box office at (410) 297-9292 or purchase online at www.ironbirdsbaseball.com.