Altoona, PA (WBNG Binghamton) Travis Taijeron completed a four-RBI night with a tie-breaking three-run homer in the ninth inning and pushed the Binghamton Mets past the Altoona Curve, 5-2, Sunday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. Binghamton scored five unanswered runs to complete their second series sweep of the season.
With the game knotted up at two in the top of the ninth, Taijeron launched a 1-1 offering from reliever Jason Townsend over the right-field fence for his second homer in as many nights. Promoted to Binghamton on Saturday, Taijeron went 5-for-9 and collected six RBIs in the final two games of the series. Jeff Walters retired all three batters he faced in the ninth for his league-leading 15th save.
Binghamton had to play catch-up after falling behind in the second. Curve first baseman Justin Howard gave the home team the lead with a solo homer off B-Mets starter Jacob deGrom. He struck again in the fourth, adding to Altoona’s lead with an RBI single.
On the hill, Altoona spot starter Ethan Hollingsworth baffled the B-Mets, kicking off his second start of the season with four shutout frames. Allan Dykstra ended the stretch and cut the deficit in half with a long ball to lead off the fifth. After fouling off three two-strike pitches, Dykstra pulled a payoff pitch to right, clearing the fence for his eighth homer of the year.
Kenn Kasparek took the reins from Hollingsworth and posted a perfect sixth inning before surrendering three singles in the seventh. Taijeron tied the game by dumping an RBI single into center.
deGrom returned for the seventh and ended his night with a perfect frame. The righty allowed two runs on six hits and struck out four over seven innings in the no-decision.
Jack Leathersich entered in the eighth and walked the tightrope with two outs. The southpaw issued a free pass to Adalberto Santos before surrendering a double to Alex Dickerson. With two runners in scoring position, Leathersich preserved the tie and ended the inning by striking out Drew Maggi. Leathersich (2-0) collected the win after Taijeron’s blast in the ninth. Townsend (1-3) suffered the loss.
The B-Mets (38-25) return to the field Tuesday night at 7:05 PM as they start a three-game series against the Trenton Thunder at Arm & Hammer Park. RHP Erik Goeddel toes the rubber for Binghamton against RHP Mikey O’Brien.
POSTGAME NOTES: Josh Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to an Eastern League-best 21 games with a single in the seventh…Binghamton has won 12 of their last 15 games…the B-Mets are 13 games over .500 for the first time since September 3, 2004 (76-63)