Portland, ME (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets were swept by the Portland Sea Dogs in a doubleheader on Wednesday night at Hadlock Field. Sea Dogs starter Keith Couch tamed the B-Mets in a 5-1 loss in the opener, before Binghamton blew a five-run lead in a 6-5 defeat in the nightcap. The B-Mets have dropped four straight and are 4-4 on their nine-game road trip.
GAME ONE – Sea Dogs 5, B-Mets 1
Binghamton started the night on the right note, grabbing the lead just three batters into the game against Couch. In a span of nine pitches, Darrell Ceciliani doubled to right-center field, took third on a single by Matt Reynolds and came home when Kevin Plawecki bounced into a fielder’s choice to short.
The lead evaporated quickly under the watch of B-Mets starter Luis Cessa, who was making his Double-A debut. With two aboard in the first, Stefan Welch pulled a 2-2 fastball from Cessa inside the right-field foul pole for a three-run homer. Travis Shaw added to the lead with a solo homer to start the third, his second long ball of the series.
Heiker Meneses started the fourth with an infield single, went from first to third on a sac bunt and came home on a Mookie Betts double to the right-field corner. Cessa collected the second out of the frame before giving way to reliever Hamilton Bennett for the final out.
Couch kept his infielders on their toes over the next four shutout innings. After fanning two in a scoreless second, he used nine groundouts and needed just 24 pitches to cruise from the third through the fifth. Binghamton threatened with two hits in the sixth, but Couch stranded both, preserving Portland’s four-run lead. The righty returned for the seventh and maneuvered around two hits to post a shutout inning.
Couch (6-0) allowed a season-high nine hits, but surrendered just one run in his first complete game of the season. He earned his league-leading sixth win of the season. Cessa (0-1) was tagged for five runs on seven hits, including five for extra-bases, over 3-2/3 innings in the loss. Hamilton Bennett closed Binghamton’s pitching tab with 2-1/3 scoreless innings.
GAME TWO – Sea Dogs 6, B-Mets 5
Similar to their efforts in the opener, the B-Mets got on the board in the first inning in the nightcap against Portland starter Wilfredo Boscan. Wilfredo Tovar pulled a one-out double down the left-field line to start the rally. Matt Reynolds moved him to third with a single and Matt Clark brought him home when the Sea Dogs failed to spin a double play.
The B-Mets stretched their lead with two-out production in the second. With a runner on third and two gone, Kyle Johnson ripped an RBI single up the middle. Tovar followed with a walk and Reynolds kept the offense up with a run-scoring single to center. Clark capped the inning by blasting a two-run double to the right-field alley.
B-Mets starter Matt Bowman stranded two in a scoreless second before getting touched for a run in the third. After a leadoff double by Shannon Wilkerson, Derrik Gibson skipped an RBI double down the third-base line, putting Portland on the board. Bowman limited the damage to one run in the third and responded with a perfect fourth.
Bowman’s fortunes took a turn for the worse in the fifth when Portland loaded the bases with one out. Stefan Welch cut Binghamton’s lead in half by dumping a two-run single into center. Bowman exited after walking Heiker Meneses to reload the bases.
Mike Brenly greeted reliever Chasen Bradford by threading an RBI single past Reynolds at short. Peter Hissey followed by pulling Bradford’s next pitch into right for a two-run single, giving Portland a 6-5 lead.
Portland reliever Robby Scott worked around a leadoff single to post a scoreless sixth and Jose Valdez shut the door for his fourth save with a blank seventh.
Scott (6-1) tossed three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win, matching teammate Keith Couch for the league-lead. Bowman (3-2) allowed six runs on six hits over 4-2/3 innings in the defeat.
The B-Mets (24-20) conclude their six-game series against the Sea Dogs and put a bow on their nine-game road trip on Thursday night at 6:00 PM. RHP Rainy Lara takes the hill against LHP Mickey Pena.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)