Baseball: Heat Wave Thaws Bats, Monsters Pound Staten Island 8-5

Courtesy Vermont Lake Monsters

STATEN ISLAND, NY — Jordan Diaz keyed a five-run top of the fifth inning with a three-run double, while Kyle McCann and Lawrence Butler both homered to lead the Vermont Lake Monsters to an 8-5 New York-Penn League victory over the Staten Island Yankees Friday night at Richmond County Ballpark.

The Lake Monsters loaded the bases to open the fifth after back-to-back walks and a bunt single. After a forceout at home, Michael Woodworth plated the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to center tying the game 2-2.

A hit batter reloaded the bases before Jordan Diaz lined the three-run double off the fence in center. The hit increased Diaz’s NYPL lead in hits (38) and RBI (28), while also notching his 12th double (2nd in league). Kevin Richards followed the Diaz double with his second double of the night to increase the Vermont lead to 6-2.

The Yankees cut the deficit to 6-4 with a Henson two-run homer in bottom of fifth off reliever Jack Cushing, but Lawrence Butler restored the four-run lead in top of sixth with a two-run homer to center. It was Butler’s third home run of the season, as was McCann’s solo homer in the second.

After Lake Monsters starter Richard Morban struckout the first two Yankees in the bottom of the third, Staten Island grabbed a 2-1 lead on back-to-back doubles from Andres Chaparro and Spencer Henson before a David Metzgar RBI triple to center. Morban finished with seven strikeouts over his four innings of work, including three in first after a leadoff error and walk.

Jack Cushing (2-2) allowed three runs on six hits over three innings of relief to earn the victory. Leading 8-5 with a pair of Yankees aboard in the seventh, Cushing induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to keep lead at three. Jose Mora struckout five of the six batters he faced over the final two innings for his third save.

Butler was 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs to go along with the two-run homer, while Henson was 2-for-4 with two runs, the double, homer and three RBI for the Yankees. Wellington Diaz was charged with six runs over 3 2/3 innings of relief to take the loss for Staten Island (16-16).

Vermont (14-20) returns home to historic Centennial Field for to host the Tri-City ValleyCats in a three-game series starting Saturday at 6:05 pm.