Portland, ME (WBNG Binghamton) The Binghamton Mets cashed in on three Portland errors and caught a few fortuitous breaks in a three-run ninth inning en route to a 6-3 win over the Sea Dogs Friday night at Hadlock Field. The B-Mets stretched their season-best winning streak to five games and moved within one game of the first-place Portland Sea Dogs in the Eastern Division.
Portland’s defensive woes started early in the ninth. Richard Lucas led off the inning against reliever Keith Couch with a slow roller to third. Michael Almanzar barehanded the grounder and fired an errant throw to first, allowing Lucas to move to second.
With Lucas representing the go-ahead run, Alonzo Harris pushed a bunt to the mound. Travis Shaw charged from first and fielded cleanly, but fell to the ground before getting a throw off. Danny Muno followed with a chopper to third. Alamanzar attempted to nab Lucas at the plate, but lost his grip in the process and the B-Mets took the lead for good.
Darrell Ceciliani added with an RBI single to left and Muno scored the final run of the inning by scampering home after a throwing error by Xander Bogaerts at short.
Owning a three-run lead, Jeff Walters struck out three in a scoreless ninth to collect his league-leading eleventh save.
For the first time in the four games, the B-Mets struck first. Muno led off the game by pulling a double down the first base line against Portland starter Matt Barnes. Ceciliani pushed Muno to third with a sac bunt and Cesar Puello brought him home with a bloop single to center.
Portland erased the lead in the third against B-Mets starter Erik Goeddel. Peter Hissey’s chopper up the middle glanced off Goeddel’s glove and rolled into right field for a single. The Sea Dogs cashed in on the lucky bounce when Tony Thomas sent a two-out, RBI double down the left field line.
After fighting off a B-Mets threat in the second, Barnes settled down and retired 11 consecutive B-Mets. His streak came to a halt in the sixth when he walked Ceciliani. Puello made him pay and helped the B-Mets retake the lead, by bouncing an RBI double off the centerfield wall. Allan Dykstra added to the advantage by pulling a run-scoring double down the rightfield line.
Binghamton’s two-run lead did not last long. After Travis Shaw beat out a bunt single, Michael Almanzar blasted Goeddel’s 1-0 offering over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game at three.
Goeddel settled for the no-decision after allowing three runs on six hits over six innings of work. Barnes also did not factor into the decision after six innings on the hill.
B-Mets reliever John Church (2-3) took the reins in the seventh and posted two scoreless innings of relief. The righty earned his second victory of the season after Binghamton’s three-run ninth inning. Couch (1-1) took the loss in relief
The B-Mets (23-18) continue their three-game series against the Sea Dogs (23-16) Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM. LHP Mark Cohoon gets the ball for Binghamton against RHP Anthony Ranaudo.
(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets)