Mahoning Valley gave up 15 hits to the New Jersey Cardinals in a 9-4 loss.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The Mahoning Valley Scrappers' final homestand of the season didn't begin any better than the first one back in June.
The Scrappers fell behind 8-0 and eventually lost 9-4 to the New Jersey Cardinals Monday night before 4,400 fans at Cafaro Field.
Mahoning Valley ran up against a hot-hitting Cardinals team, which pounded out 15 hits, as eight of the nine players in the lineup had at least one hit.
Then there was the pitching by left-handed starter Benjamin Julianel, who baffled the Scrappers over the first six innings before leaving in the seventh inning when Mahoning Valley scored all four of its runs.
"You have to give them [New Jersey] credit, they hit the ball really well and their starter gave them six good innings," said Scrappers manager Dave Turgeon.
Hit hard: Kevin Martin made his first start of the season for the Scrappers and allowed eight runs, seven of them earned, and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
"It is a major adjustment coming out and starting a game after you have only relieved all season long," Turgeon said. "I thought Kevin threw well. He got a slider up to [Jose] Espino and he hit it out, but for the most part he threw well for his first start."
Espino was a thorn in the Scrappers side the whole game as he had three hits in four trips, including a two-run homer in the second, an RBI single in the fourth and an RBI double in the eighth.
Left-fielder Brian Kirby was the only Scrapper with two hits as he singled and doubled his first two trips to the plate. Maximo Made and Travis Santini each had a double in the Scrappers four-run seventh.
"These kids are still going out there and playing hard each game and they know there is still time for them to show what they can do and perhaps earn a promotion next season," Turgeon said.
Breaking it open: After Martin retired the Cardinals in order in the first inning, the visitors broke the game open over the next four frames.
In the second Espino ripped his homer to deep left-center to cap a 3-run inning, then in the fourth, Martin hit Jeff Jones to open the inning and he promptly stole second. He moved to third on a ground out and scored on Espino's single to center.
In the fifth the Cardinals scored four more runs as John Santor doubled in one and Dan Moylan singled home another before Skip Schumaker singled home the final two runs.
Trailing 8-0 the Scrappers finally got to Julianel in the seventh. With one out, Santini doubled to left-center and Kenton Myers walked and Julianel was relieved by Chris Hall.
Scoring: Jean Alayon greeted Hall with a single to load the bases, then Made doubled off the wall in left to score two runs and Alayon scored when Chad Peshke grounded out. Rickie Morton drove in the final run with a single up the middle.
But that was it for the Scrappers as they went down in order in the final two innings.
New Jersey added another run in the eighth on Espino's double down the left-field line.
Mahoning Valley had only one other real scoring opportunity, in the second inning when Angel Bastardo and Kirby led off with back-to-back singles, but Julianel struck out the next three Scrappers to get out of the jam.
Morton was named the New York-Penn League's batter of the week as he went 9-for-17 (.529) and two home runs.
"Rickie has had a good year with a lot of hard work," Turgeon said. "When he left camp he wasn't a prospect, but he's made himself into a prospect. He's been a leader on this team this year."
NEW JERSEYMAHONING VALLEY
DeLsSantos ss5010Made 2b5112
Davidson 2b5120Peshke 3b4011
Roman 1b5000Morton 1b3011
Santor 3b5121Quintana cf4010
Moylan c5221Bastardo c4010
Jones rf3320Kirby lf4020
Espino dh4134Myers dh4100
Pearl lf4010Alayon ss4110
E--Santini. LOB--New Jersey 5, Mahoning Valley 6. 2B--Santor 2, Pearl, Espino, Kirby, Made, Santini; HR--Espino. SB--Roman, Jones. CS--Espino.
Julianel W, 6-66 1-362227
Martin L, 0-24 2-3108702
HBP--By Martin (Jones). Umpires: Home, Beneem; bases, McCrery. T--2:17. A--4,400.
HOW THEY SCOREDSECOND INNINGCARDINALS 3, SCRAPPERS 0
Cardinals: John Santor struckout; Dan Moylan singled to left; Jeff Jones grounded out, Moylan to second. Skip Schumaker singled to right scoring Moylan; Jose Espino homered to deep left-center scoring Schumaker. Matt Pearl grounded out. 3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
FOURTH INNINGCARDINALS 4, SCRAPPERS 0
Cardinals: Jones was hit by pitch, then stole second; Schumaker grounded out, Jones to third; Espino singled to center scoring Jones; Espino thrown out at second trying to steal; Pearl lined out to second. 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
CARDINALS 8, SCRAPPERS 0
Cardinals: Santo De Los Santos grounded out; Seth Davidson got an infield single; Jesse Roman reached on a fielders choice with Davidson out at second; Rovan stole second; Santor doubled to right-center scoring Roman; Moylan singled up the middle scoring Santor; Jones singled to right, Moylan to third on an error by the right fielder and Jones to second; Schumaker singled to left scoring Moylan and Jones, Schumaker was thrown out trying to take second on the play. 4 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, 0 LOB.
SEVENTH INNINGCARDINALS 8, SCRAPPERS 4
Scrappers: Brian Kirby grounded out; Travis Santini doubled to left-center; Kenton Myers walked; Jean Alayon singled to left loading the bases; Maximo Made doubled off the lefe field wall scoring Santini and Myers with Alayon to third; Chad Peshke grounded out to second with Alayon scoring and Made to third; Rickie Morton singled up the middle scoring Made; Miguel Quintana grounded out. 4 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
EIGHTH INNINGCARDINALS 9, SCRAPPERS 4
Cardinals: Jones singled to left; Schumaker lined out to center; Espino doubled down the left field line scoring Jones; Pearl grounded out, Espino to third; De Los Santos flied out to right. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB.