Bill Hass on Baseball:Cordova’s homer helps Hoppers stay on hitting tear

Posted by Guest Columnist on June 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm under Professional | Comments are off for this article

“There’s no secret formula for success,” he said. “It takes preparation, hard work and a good mental approach.”
(Frank Moore, Greensboro Grasshoppers’ hitting coach)

Cordova’s homer helps Hoppers stay on hitting tear
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball(Greensboro Grasshoppers) at….

So maybe it really wasn’t Frank Moore’s “magic dust” after all.

Regardless, the Hoppers continued on a hitting tear Tuesday afternoon, ripping Lakewood 11-3. That followed Monday’s 14-2 whipping of the BlueClaws. In the past two games the Hoppers have scored 25 runs and pounded out 30 hits.

Moore wound up as manager and third base coach for most of the game after David Berg was ejected in the bottom of the first inning. He deflected a suggestion that the win should go on his resume.

“Too many people make a big deal out of that,” he said. “It’s not my show and it’s not Bergie’s show. You let the players play. All I’m going for is the Ws (wins)”

Moore also dispelled the notion that there might be something to the “magic dust” he jokingly suggested had something to do with Monday’s win.

“There’s no secret formula for success,” he said. “It takes preparation, hard work and a good mental approach.”

Those elements were surely in place Tuesday. Carlos Lopez had three hits and drove in four runs. Felix Munoz added three more hits, including his 10th homer, and scored three times. Rehiner Cordova hit his first career home run, added two singles, walked twice, scored three times and drove in three runs.

Cordova’s homer came when he led off the bottom of the fourth. His fly ball hugged the line and cleared the fence in the left field corner with home plate umpire Kyle Wallace watching it closely before signalling it fair. It was Cordova’s first homer in 150 professional games, and Munoz gave him a bear hug as he entered the dugout.

“I’ve been waiting for that my whole career,” said Cordova with a broad smile as teammate Yefri Perez translated. “I was running and watching the ball and I wanted to push it fair.”

A natural shortstop, which is where he played Tuesday, Cordova has also played second base, third base, center field and left field. He said he’s happy to get into the lineup wherever and whenever he can.

“You love a guy like that,” Moore said. “He’s very energetic, plays hard and enjoys the moment.”

Perez, officially 0-for-4 for the day, still had one of the game’s biggest at-bats. In the second inning, with runners on second and third with two outs, the count reached 3-and-2 and he fouled off several pitches from Mark Leiter Jr. He finally coaxed a walk to load the bases, which set the stage for a five-run inning.

“I wanted to take a walk so we could get a rally going,” Perez said.

Munoz, who homered to left field Monday and to right field Tuesday, said he has been working on better movement with his hands during his swing.

“I tried to concentrate, get a good pitch and then swing the bat,” he said, through Perez.

On the pitching end, the Hoppers got six innings from Sean Townsley, who picked up his second victory. Townsley had a shaky first inning, walking the leadoff man and giving up two singles and two runs. Then he slammed the door with five shutout innings, retiring nine straight in one stretch. He made good use of a sweeping knuckle curve that helped him post six strikeouts.

“In the first inning I wasn’t putting the ball where I wanted it,” Townsley said. “But I learned from my mistakes and focused on repeating my delivery. All my pitches were working when I needed them.”

Pitching coach Jeremy Powell said Townsley improved his efficiency as the game progressed, getting a lot of outs early in the count.

“It was a well-deserved win,” Powell said.

C.J. Robinson earned a three-inning save, his first of the season.

NOTES: Infielder Justin Bohn was promoted to Jupiter and first baseman Carlos Duran assigned to the Hoppers from Batavia. Bohn was perhaps the biggest surprise on the team. In a combined 52 games with Batavia and the Hoppers in 2013, Bohn hit .196 with no homers and 10 RBIs. In 63 games in Greensboro this season, he hit .293 with six homers and drove in 47 runs … Duran played in eight games at Batavia, hitting .333 with four RBIs. He hit .275 with two homers and 20 RBIs in 45 games in the Gulf Coast League in 2013 … The umpires had a busy afternoon. Joining Berg in the clubhouse were Lakewood pitching coach Les Lancaster and manager Greg Legg, both tossed in the bottom of the fifth inning.

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