Manchester, NH (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets collected a season-high 15 hits and Rafael Montero fired seven shutout innings in a 6-0 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Saturday night at Northeast Delta Stadium. The victory, their third shutout of the season, pushes the B-Mets into sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division.
Facing New Hampshire starter Ryan Tepera for the third time this season, the B-Mets jumped on the righty early. Danny Muno broke a slump of 24 straight hitless at-bats with a leadoff single in the second. Cory Vaugh brought him home quickly by lacing an RBI double to right, giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead.
Muno contributed to the offense again in the second. With Wilfredo Tovar aboard on a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Ahrens, Muno blistered a 2-0 pitch over the right-center field wall. His second homer of the season kicked Binghamton’s advantage to three runs.
The B-Mets used some hard-nosed play to produce their fourth run in the third inning. With one out and two runners on, Alonzo Harris rolled a ground ball back to the mound. Tepera fired to second for one out, but Joe Bonfe broke up the potential twin-killing with a clean take-out slide. The slide forced shortstop Kevin Nolan to skip his throw to first, allowing Blake Forsythe to score.
Tepera was finally given the hook after issuing a two-out walk in the fifth. Matt Wright entered and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Muno, his third hit of the game.
The run support was more than enough for Montero (6-3), who put together his second straight scoreless performance. The righty effortlessly shut down the Fisher Cats offense over seven shutout frames. He surrendered just five singles, walked one batter and struck out four in his longest outing as a Binghamton Met.
The Fisher Cats put two aboard and threatened early in the first, but Montero induced Kevin Nolan to fly out to silence the rally. The fly out started a stretch of ten straight batters put down by the right-hander. Montero allowed only four baserunners in each of his final three innings, all of them blank frames.
Chase Huchingson took over in the eighth and posted two scoreless innings to cap Binghamton’s third shutout win of the season.
Tepera (5-4) went 4-2/3 innings in the loss and allowed five runs (four earned) on ten hits, the most he has surrendered as a Fisher Cat. Wright held the fort for 2-1/3 innings of relief. Tommy Hottovy closed the Fisher Cats’ pitching tab and allowed a solo homer to Vaughn in the eighth inning.
The B-Mets (32-24) complete their three-game series against the Fisher Cats (28-29) Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. RHP Jacob deGrom takes the ball for Binghamton versus LHP Sean Nolin.
POSTGAME NOTES: Muno’s three-hit game was his third of the season and first since May 13…Montero has not allowed a run with the B-Mets in his last 16-2/3 innings…the B-Mets lead the Eastern League with 32 victories