Portland, ME (WBNG Binghamton) Zack Wheeler struck out nine Sea Dogs and stood to be the winner until Juan Carlos Linares launched a two-run home run in the eighth inning in Portland’s 4-3 comeback win over the Binghamton Mets at Hadlock Field.
For the second straight game, the B-Mets jumped out to an early lead against Portland starter Chris Hernandez. After Matt den Dekker doubled off the right field wall and Allan Dykstra reached on a fielding error, Eric Campbell conquered the “Maine Monster” with a three-run bomb. The B-Mets first baseman launched a 1-2 pitch over the 37-foot left field fence for his first home run of the season.
B-Mets starter Zack Wheeler settled in from the get-go. The right-hander struck out the side in order in the first and fanned Dan Butler in the second to make it four in a row.
Wheeler breezed through four innings before pitching himself into trouble in the fifth. Following a leadoff single by Oscar Tejeda, Wheeler hit two batters in a row to load the bases. The righty from Georgia escaped unharmed by fanning Ryan Dent and Bryce Brentz and inducing Derrik Gibson to bounce out back to the mound.
Portland finally broke through with their first of four unanswered runs in the sixth. Following consecutive hits against Wheeler, Oscar Tejeda plated the Sea Dogs’ first run with a sac fly to right.
Binghamton searched for insurance in the seventh by loading the bases on three straight singles and chasing Eammon Portice from the game. Caleb Clay entered with no outs and changed the momentum. The righty forced Juan Lagares to pop out and induced Allan Dykstra to bounce into an inning-ending double play.
Wheeler’s night was done after six frames. He allowed just one run on five hits and struck out nine. He did not issue any walks. The Sea Dogs welcomed the change with open arms. Erik Turgeon took over in the seventh and allowed a solo home run to Bryce Brentz to cut Binghamton’s lead to one.
The lead disappeared on one swing in the eighth against Turgeon. With a man aboard, Linares ripped a 1-0 pitch over the “Maine Monster” to give Portland a 4-3 lead.
Aaron Kurcz made the lead stick with a scoreless ninth, securing the Sea Dogs’ second win of the season. Turgeon suffered his first loss and Clay picked up his first win.