Altoona, PA (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets nearly blew a seven-run lead and held off a furious rally by the Altoona Curve in an 8-7 victory on Saturday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Despite allowing six runs in a disastrous seventh inning, the B-Mets held on to earn their 15th win in their last 18 games. Steven Matz struck out nine over six scoreless innings to collect his first Double-A victory and Dilson Herrera led the offense with a career-high five RBI.
For the second consecutive night, the B-Mets grabbed the lead in the first. Kyle Johnson poked a single to right to open the game, moved to third on a single by Herrera and came home when Zack Dodson committed a balk on an attempted pickoff throw.
Binghamton doubled their lead with a more traditional run in the third. Xorge Carrillo lined a single to left-center, advanced to second on a sac bunt, took third on a groundout and came home when Dilson Herrera beat out an infield single to short.
Herrera struck again with a resounding two-out blast in the fifth. After a failed sacrifice bunt by Matz and a single by Johnson, Herrera launched a 2-1 pitch down the left-field line. The towering drive stayed inside the foul pole for the Colombia native’s first homer as a B-Met. His long ball gave Binghamton a five-run lead.
Matz fought his way through six scoreless innings to make himself eligible for the win. The lefty stranded seven runners along the way while holding the Curve hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The B-Mets tacked on two more runs against Jason Townsend in the seventh. After loading the bases on three straight singles, including one from pinch-hitter Tyler Pill, Binghamton crossed the plate twice on a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice by Herrera.
Binghamton nearly threw away their comfortable seven-run lead in the seventh inning. Reliever Randy Fontanez allowed the first two to reach before bouncing back with consecutive groundouts. The final out of the inning proved to be elusive as he allowed the next four batters he faced to reach safely on three hits and a walk.
By the time Adam Kolarek entered the game, Altoona had cut Binghamton’s lead down to two. Following an infield single, Jarek Cunningham shot a ground ball to third. Burgamy, who moved to third as part of a double-switch in the inning, booted the grounder, allowing a run to score. Kolarek settled down to get the final out of the inning, preserving Binghamton’s one-run lead.
Altoona kept the pressure on in the eighth with back-to-back one-out singles. With the tying run on third, Cody Satterwhite took over on the mound. Stetson Allie chopped his first pitch to short, generating an inning-ending double play.
With the benefit of an insurance run produced by Burgamy in the ninth, Satterwhite returned for the final inning. The righty loaded the bases before allowing a run-producing fielder’s choice to Alen Hanson. Satterwhite survived the tightrope walk by striking out Kelson Brown looking to secure his fifth save of the season.
Matz (1-0) struck out nine while allowing five hits over six scoreless innings to earn his first career Double-A victory. Dodson (2-4) surrendered five runs on seven hits over six innings in the defeat.
The B-Mets (47-33) conclude their four-game visit to Altoona on Sunday night at 6:00 PM. RHP Matt Bowman takes the mound for Binghamton against RHP Pat Ludwig.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)