Goats Steal a Split
HARTFORD - Engineering five stolen bases, including a steal of home, the Hartford Yard Goats shutout the Portland Sea Dogs, 2-0, earning a split of a doubleheader Wednesday night, before a capacity crowd of 6,850 at Dunkin' Donuts Park. Portland rallied to win the first game, 2-1.
Hartford's 42nd sellout crowd of the season is one more than in 2017, with nine home dates remaining. It was also the 20th consecutive sellout and 24th capacity crowd this year. The Yard Goats have drawn 354,906 in 58 dates.
Serving as the opener after returning from the Yard Goats' injured list, Ashton Goudeau struck out the side in the first inning. Meanwhile, Hartford (24-28) tallied an unearned run in the first inning off of Portland starter Kutter Crawford. Manny Melendez opened the inning with a single, followed by a walk to Vance Vizcaino. Catcher Austin Rei then threw the ball into left field, trying to nail Melendez at third on a double steal attempt, enabling Melendez to score.
Hartford's insurance run in the sixth inning was also unearned. Vizcaino opened the inning with a single and moved to second on an errant pick off attempt. After advancing to third on a fly ball, Vizcaino thrilled the crowd with a straight steal of home plate, on Rei's throw back to reliever Eduard Bazardo. It was the Yard Goats' 101st steal of the season.
Hartford's bullpen was stellar in registering the staff's ninth shutout. After Rayan Gonzalez yielded both Portland (27-26) hits in two scoreless innings, winning pitcher Tate Scioneaux retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, including four on strike outs. Jordan Foley nailed down his second save with a 1-2-3 seventh, including two strike outs.
The first game featured a pitcher's duel between Yard Goats starter Antonio Santos and former Hartford pitcher Konnor Wade. Santos, who has pitched 13 consecutive scoreless innings at Dunkin' Donuts Park, matched his season-high in innings pitched with six. He struck out a season-high eight and did not walk a batter. After pitching around trouble in the first three innings, the hard-throwing right-hander settled down to retire the last 10 batters he faced, including six on strike outs.
Meanwhile Wade, who was pitching in independent baseball at the start of the season, held Hartford to two hits until the sixth inning, when Vizcaino reached on a one-out, bunt single and scored on a double by Tyler Nevin into the left-field corner.
Portland, however, rallied in the seventh against Yard Goats closer Scott Griggs. After Charlie Madden reached on a one-out single, Jerry Downs followed with a game-tying double to right-center. Jeremy Rivera's single moved Downs to third, setting the stage for Dylan Hardy's safety squeeze that scored the eventual winning run.
With a runner at first and one out, Wade gave way to lefty reliever Dedgar Jimenez, who struck out the last two Yard Goats to nail down his sixth save.
With the twinbill split, Hartford is 11-6 vs. the Red Sox affiliate this season and goes for the series win in the finale.
The series and home stand wrap up Thursday at 7:05 p.m. LHP Jack Wynkoop will pitch for Hartford against RHP Denyi Reyes for Portland. The game will be broadcast on News Radio 1410 AM, on 100.9 FM, in Spanish on 1120 AM and on the internet on newsradio1410.iheart.com. It will be a calendar giveaway night.
Game 1Portland 2-8-0
WP- Konnor Wade (4-4)
LP- Scott Griggs (1-3)
S- Dedgar Jimenez (6)
WP- Tate Scioneaux (3-2)
LP- Kutter Crawford (1-3)
S- Jordan Foley (2)
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