Akron, OH (WNBG Binghamton) Starter Rafael Montero struck out eight and allowed two singles to lead the Binghamton Mets past the Akron Aeros, 2-1, Thursday night at Canal Park. Montero surrendered one run and at one point retired 14 straight to earn his first Double-A victory.
Montero’s Double-A debut got off to a taxing start as leadoff batter Tyler Holt worked an eleven-pitch at-bat in the first inning before flying out. The bumpy inning continued when Moncrief singled with two outs. The trouble ended right there for Montero. The righty went into cruise control after that, putting down 14 straight Aeros, including eight strikeouts.
Binghamton backed him up with just enough offense, breaking through against Aeros starter Danny Salazar in the fifth. With one out and the bases loaded, Wilfredo Tovar skipped a potential inning-ending double play ball to second. Jose Ramirez bobbled the scorcher and settled for one out allowing Danny Muno to score the game’s first run.
Josh Rodriguez doubled Binghamton’s lead with a long home run in the sixth. Facing reliever Cole Cook, the second-year B-Met bounced a 2-1 pitch off the batter’s eye in centerfield, giving Binghamton a 2-0 advantage.
Akron scratched out their only run of the game in the sixth, Montero’s final inning of work. Holt snapped Akron’s slump and chased Montero from the game with a two-out single to center. Adam Kolarek entered, uncorked a wild pitch and surrendered an RBI single to Jose Ramirez. The lefty bounced back and retired Moncrief to end the inning.
Jeff Walters entered in the eighth and took the game to the finish line in his Double-A debut. The righty posted a scoreless eighth and stranded the tying run at second in the ninth, striking out Chun Chen to earn his first save since June 17, 2012 when he was a Savannah Sand Gnat.
Montero (1-0) went 5-2/3 innings, allowed a run and issued no walks in the winning effort. Kolarek picked up his first hold.
The B-Mets (1-0) continue their series against the Aeros (0-1) Friday night at 6:35 PM. RHP Cory Mazzoni, the only returning B-Met starter from 2012, gets the ball against LHP T.J. House.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)