Last-place Cyclones trying to climb out of early season funk
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It had to happen sometime.
After playing a perfect second base for the first three weeks of his professional career, LJ Mazzilli committed a pair of fielding errors Tuesday afternoon as the Brooklyn Cyclones saw their season-high winning streak snapped at three games with a 5-2 loss to Lowell before 5,886 fans at Coney Island's newly renovated MCU Park.
Mazzilli, the son of former Mets great and current Yankees front-office man Lee Mazzilli, had gone error-free in his first 20 games with the Baby Bums. He booted a fourth-inning grounder during Tuesday's defeat, but quickly rebounded to make a pair of 4-3 putouts to help the Cyclones get off the field without allowing a run.
Things wouldn't go as smoothly in the top of the ninth as Brooklyn trailed 4-2 before the Mets' fourth-round pick in June's MLB Draft was unable to convert an inning-ending force play at second, allowing Miguel Rodrigez to score the game's final run.
Batting .256 with two doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored thus far this summer, Mazzilli took an 0-for-4 collar Tuesday as the Cyclones squandered an opportunity to move out of the McNamara Division cellar, where they've been mired for the past two weeks.
The 22-year-old prospect has been the glue of the Brooklyn infield, and a few fielding gaffes are to be expected from any first-year pro.
Despite the defeat, the Cyclones have stabilized since a season-high four-game skid to begin the month, going 4-3 in their last seven games to climb back to 9-13, leaving them just 3 1/2 games back of first-place Hudson Valley entering their six-game trip through Auburn and Connecticut.
Brooklyn averted a three-game sweep in Aberdeen with Saturday's 5-3 triumph before returning to Surf Avenue to pick up a pair of wins against the Spinners.
On Sunday, Venezuelan right-hander Miller Diaz struck out eight over five two-hit innings as Brooklyn used four pitchers to blank Lowell, 3-0.
Mazzilli went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI in the win, and has picked things up at the plate with a .282 average over his last 10 games, including a pair of three-hit efforts during that stretch.