Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Josh Rodriguez knocked an RBI single into left field to bring home the eventual game-winning run in the eighth inning, as the Binghamton Mets took the rubber match over the Altoona Curve, 6-4 Thursday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium.
The single broke a 4-4 tie, as the B-Mets won their fifth game of this week-long homestand. This was the second comeback win over the Curve, as Altoona scored first for the third straight game in the series.
Jarek Cunningham led off the second inning with a solo home run against Cory Mazzoni. The rest of the inning was a defensive struggle for the B-Mets. A hard ground ball from Gift Ngoepe went through the wickets of Richard Lucas at third base for the first error of the game.
After moving to third base on a groundout, Ngoepe scored on a fielding error by Danny Muno at shortstop. Andy Vasquez added to the inning with an RBI single up the middle to give the Curve an early 3-0 lead.
Binghamton cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the fifth. Mazzoni led off with a single to right field. Two batters later, Rodriguez hit an RBI triple off the wall in right field. The base knock extended his season-long hitting streak to 16 games. Puello followed with a sharp single into left field to bring home the second run of the inning.
Andrew Lambo responded in the top of the sixth inning with a towering solo home run over the video board in right field. It was the second solo shot allowed by Mazzoni on the day, and it gave the Curve a 4-2 advantage.
Darrell Ceciliani led off the bottom of the sixth with a blooping single into left field. On the very next pitch, Richard Lucas hit a double off the wall down the right field line to bring in a run. After Xorge Carillo singled to put runners on the corners, Joe Bonfe hit a pinch hit sacrifice fly to tie the game.
The pinch hitter caused Mazzoni to be lifted from the game with a no-decision. He struck out a season-high nine batters over six innings.
Adam Kolarek relieved Mazzoni on the mound, and pitched two perfect innings to keep the game at 4-4. The southpaw struck out four of the six batters he faced.
In the bottom of the eighth, Carillo was plunked by a Quinton Miller pitch to lead off the frame. Alonzo Harris pinch ran for the catcher, and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After Danny Muno was hit by another pitch, Rodriguez lined a single into left field to bring Harris home. Puello added to the lead with his second RBI single of the day.
The lead was plenty for closer Jeff Walters; he tossed a scoreless ninth to pick up his league-leading 13th save of the season. Kolarek (2-1) earned his second victory of the season, and also his second of the series. Miller (0-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up two runs in the eighth.
The B-Mets (31-23) hit the road for a quick three-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The first game of the series is set for 7:05 PM on Friday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. RHP Logan Verrett faces RHP Deck McGuire on the mound.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)