Wheeler brilliant as B-Mets win
Zack Wheeler allowed one run over a career-high eight innings to lead the Binghamton Mets past the New Britain Rock Cats by an 8-1 score Wednesday afternoon at New Britain Stadium. The righty allowed just two hits and struck out seven in his fourth-straight victory.
Wheeler's perfect first inning was a preview of the seven stellar innings that would follow. He struck out the first two hitters of the game and fanned three of the first four he faced. The Georgia native opened the game by retiring ten Rock Cats in a row before issuing a walk in the fourth. He worked around the free pass by inducing Deibinson Romero to bounce into a double play.
New Britain starter David Bromberg struggled to match Wheeler in the opening innings. After failing to score with the bases loaded in the first, the B-Mets cashed in with the bases loaded in the second. A single, a hit batsman and a walk filled the bases and a wild pitch allowed Juan Centeno to cross home with the first run.
Wheeler made the lead stand until the fifth, when the Rock Cats finally collected their first hit. Aaron Hicks walked and stole second to start the rally. He advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Nate Hanson lined a single to right field. It was one of only two hits allowed on the day by Wheeler.
Bromberg settled down after his first two shaky innings and posted four scoreless frames to cap his day. Reliever Blake Martin took over and posted a scoreless seventh before allowing a leadoff single to Raul Reyes in the eighth.
Luis Perdomo was summoned from the bullpen and promptly walked Eric Campbell to put two aboard. After Reese Havens sacrificed both runners up, Juan Lagares shot a groundball to second with the infield drawn in. Reyes, breaking home on initial contact, beat the throw from Shawn Roof, giving the B-Mets a 2-1 lead. Campbell scored later in the inning on a botched pickoff throw from catcher Danny Lehmann.
Given a two-run advantage, Wheeler closed out his impressive day with a scoreless eighth. He allowed just four base runners in eight innings, the longest start for any B-Met this season.
Binghamton put the game out of reach with five runs in the ninth against reliever Brett Jacobson. The righty walked five, hit a batter and served up a three-run homer to Raul Reyes in the frame.
Adrian Rosario replaced Wheeler for the ninth and posted a perfect inning to close out Binghamton's win. Wheeler (4-2) earned his fourth win in as many starts, while Martin (1-2) was saddled with the loss.
The B-Mets (22-22) look to secure the series split tomorrow morning at 10:35 a.m. RHP Jenrry Mejia makes his second start of the season for the B-Mets against RHP B.J. Hermsen. The Horizons Federal Credit Union pre-game show begins at 10:20 a.m. on ESPN 1360 WYOS.