STATEN ISLAND, NY-A fine pitching performance for the second night in a row by a Yankees starter did the Renegades in, as Hudson Valley was swept in the finale of a three-game series against Staten Island 5-3 Thursday night at the Ballpark at St. George.
The Renegades broke out on top in the second inning as catcher Rafelin Lorenzo sent a one-out single into centerfield. He went to third on a softly hit single to right by rightfielder Angel Perez to put runners at the corners with one out. The next hitter, leftfielder Oscar Rojas, then hit a sac fly to right to score Ramirez and give Hudson Valley a 1-0 lead. Ramirez scored standing just ahead of a strong throw from Yankees rightfielder Leonardo Molina.
However, the Yankees came storming back by scoring four runs in the fourth inning. After a strikeout by Renegades starter Hector Lopez to begin the inning, the next five hitters reached base. A single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases before Lopez gave up an RBI single to right by third baseman Oswaldo Cabrera to tie the game. The next hitter, shortstop Wilkerman Garcia, singled to right as well to give the Yankees the lead. Centerfielder Dom Thompson-Williams came up and grounded into an RBI fielder's choice to second to make the score 3-1. With runners now at the corners and two away, Thompson-Williams got caught in a rundown between first and second on a pickoff attempt. However, he was able to stay in the rundown long enough to Cabrera to score from third and make the count 4-1.
Staten Island added another run in the seventh to make the score 5-1. Designated hitter Cesar Diaz started the inning with a walk. He stole second with one out, then went to third on a single to left by Garcia. With runners at first and third and only one out, first baseman Dalton Blaser grounded into what appeared to be a routine 4-6-3 double play. But after recording the fielder's choice at second, the throw to first from shortstop Bill Pujols was high and wide of the bag as Diaz scored from third.
Hudson Valley would score two in the eighth to make a game of it. With two out and the bases empty, Pujols reached on a fielding error by Garcia. Second baseman Vidal Brujan made the Yankees pay by roping a triple into left-centerfield to score Pujols. Brujan would then score as the next hitter, centerfielder Emilio Gustave, lined a single past second to make the score 5-3.
But that was as close as the Renegades got as Yankees closer Eduardo Rivera struck out designated hitter Zach Law to end the frame. Rivera walked two hitters in the ninth, but he also got a double play ball and a strikeout to end the game as he picked up his second save.
Getting the win for Staten Island was Alex Vargas (3-0) who was brilliant in seven innings. He allowed only one run on four hits while walking none and striking out two. The loss went to Hudson Valley's Hector Lopez (0-3) who looked great in his first four innings before struggling in the fifth. He allowed four runs on five hits in five innings.
The Renegades had six hits including a double and triple from Brujan who also drove in a run and scored another. The Yankees had nine hits including two singles apiece from Garcia and catcher Jason Lopez. Garcia drove in a run and Lopez scored another. Thompson-Williams went 0-3 for the Baby Bombers, but drove in two runs in the process.
Hudson Valley now heads to Vermont where they will take on the Lake Monsters in a three-game series beginning tomorrow at 7:05 from Centennial Field. Right-hander Nick Padilla (0-1, 2.00 ERA) will pitch for the Renegades against righty Abdiel Mendoza of the Lake Monsters (1-1, 5.91 ERA). Hudson Valley returns home on July 11th as they open a six-game homestand against the West Virginia Black Bears. Tickets can be purchased online at hvrenegades.com or by calling the ticket office at 845-838-0094.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.