Shaky defense dooms B-Mets
The Binghamton Mets committed five errors and dropped the series-opener to the Portland Sea Dogs, 8-2, Monday night at Hadlock Field. Binghamton's five misplays matched a season-high and led to seven unearned runs.
The poor defense started early behind B-Mets starter Jacob DeGrom. With one out in the first, Alonzo Harris failed to catch a long fly ball in center, allowing Xander Bogaerts to reach third. The three-base error set the table for Travis Shaw, who grounded out to get Portland on the board.
Harris' misplay also prolonged the inning. Following a hit batsman and a walk, Michael Almanzar blasted a two-run double over the head of Cory Vaughn in rightfield, giving Portland a 3-0 advantage.
The runs and defensive misplays continued in the second. With two aboard, Shannon Wilkerson shot a 1-2 pitch back up the middle. Christian Vazquez scored easily from third and Derrik Gibson came in from second when Harris bobbled the grounder in center.
Meanwhile, the B-Mets failed to crack the scoreboard against Major League rehabbing starter John Lackey. The righty tossed 3-2/3 shutout innings, striking out five along the way. He surrendered three hits and walked two, but stranded all four runners in his first start since suffering a strained right bicep with the Red Sox on April 6.
Portland added to their lead on another two more B-Mets errors in the fourth. Gibson reached to start the inning on a throwing error by shortstop Danny Muno. Wilkerson traded places with him on a fielder's choice. With two outs, Wilkerson scampered to third on a single and scored when Vaughn's throw to third bounced off of him and skipped into the stands.
Despite the unreliable defense, DeGrom navigated through five innings. The righty was tagged for seven hits and six runs, only one of which was earned. He walked four and wrapped up his night with three strikeouts.
Chase Huchingson entered in the sixth and was not immune to Binghamton's defensive woes. With two runners on, JC Linares stroked a single to left. The bouncing ball skipped past Darrell Ceciliani and rolled to the Maine Monster, allowing two unearned runs to score.
Binghamton finally got on the score sheet against reliever Keith Couch in the seventh. The righty had retired seven straight after replacing Lackey in the fourth, but surrendered a leadoff single in Binghamton's only run-producing frame. With two on base and two outs, Danny Muno smashed a two-run single back up the middle, making it 8-2 in Portland's favor.
Couch (1-0) shook off the bumpy inning and posted two more outs in the eighth, capping four innings of work. He was awarded the win. Chris Martin brought the game to the finish line, getting the final four outs. DeGrom (0-2) suffered his second loss.
The B-Mets (10-8) continue their three-game series against the Sea Dogs (10-7) Tuesday night at 6 p.m. RHP Tyler Pill (1-1, 7.20) gets the ball for Binghamton against LHP Craig Breslow (0-0, ---). The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show begins at 5:45 PM on Newsradio 1290 WNBF.