B-Mets top Portland in 11 innings
The B-Mets squandered a two-run lead late, but plated four runs in the eleventh inning to defeat the Portland Sea Dogs 6-4 at Fenway Park in the Futures at Fenway Game in Boston this afternoon.
B-Mets infielder Eric Campbell broke a tie game with an RBI single to left against reliever Chris Martin in the final frame. The hit capped Campbell's second straight three-hit game. Kai Gronauer added breathing room by blasting a three-run home run over the Green Monster.
The offense started late for both teams. B-Mets starter Collin McHugh and Portland hurler Charlie Haeger kept the game scoreless through six frames. Binghamton had a hit in each of the first six innings, but could not plate a run off the knuckleball.
On the big stage, McHugh posted his fifth straight quality start. In his first game at Fenway, the right-hander allowed four hits and struck out six over six shutout innings. The Georgia native has held opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his last eight appearances.
Binghamton made him eligible for the win when things unraveled for the Sea Dogs and Haegar in the seventh. The righty walked Brahiam Maldonado and Allan Dykstra before uncorking a wild pitch with Gronauer at the plate. Each runner scampered up a base and Maldonado scored when catcher Dan Butler's throw to second sailed into center field. After a walk to Gronauer, Jon Malo doubled the lead on a single to center.
Given the two-run advantage, Ricky Brooks toed the rubber in the seventh. The righty worked around an error by Eric Campbell at third to post a scoreless frame and returned for the eighth. Brooks walked lead-off hitter Ryan Khoury on four pitches and immediately paid for it. Alex Hassan crushed a payoff pitch off the camera canopy beyond the center field fence to tie the game. It was Hassan's 11th dinger of the year.
Binghamton had a chance in the ninth, but could not come through against reliever Josh Fields. Allan Dykstra walked and Oscar Tejeda booted a potential double-play ball to move the go-ahead run to second. Jean Luc Blaquiere pinch-ran for Dykstra, but moved nowhere when Gronauer bounced into an inning-ending double play.
After Rhiner Cruz took over in the ninth and retired the Sea Dogs in order, Malo led off the tenth with a double off Chris Martin. He moved to third on a sac bunt, but was stranded when Mike Fisher flied out and Reese Havens grounded out.
Cruz capped off his strong outing with a scoreless tenth and the B-Mets rallied in the eleventh. Juan Lagares reached on a bunt single up the third base line to start the inning and extended his hitting streak to eleven games, the longest for any B-Met this season.
Niuman Romero followed with a single to left and Campbell broke the tie by shooting a single past Jon Hee at third base. Gronauer followed with a three-run shot off the light tower beyond the Green Monster. It was the catcher's first home run since he ripped a dinger off the Erie SeaWolves on April 11.
Things did not end easily for Binghamton. Erik Turgeon started the eleventh and allowed the first two he faced to reach. Jon Hee drove home both runners on a single to right, but stymied the rally when he was thrown out at second trying to advance on the throw home.
Josh Stinson got the call from the pen and struck out Mitch Dening to rack up his fourth save and secure Binghamton's fifth straight series win. Cruz earned his third win, allowing just one hit over two scoreless innings. Martin suffered his first loss in his Double-A debut.
Binghamton (55-71) and Portland meet for the final time this season back at Hadlock Field tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m. RHP Tobi Stoner (4-5, 5.06) will square off against RHP Brock Huntzinger (5-11, 6.60). The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pre-Game Show begins at 12:45 p.m. on Newsradio 1290 WNBF.