The New Britain Rock Cats lost both sides of a double header Saturday night to the Portland Sea Dogs, but redeemed themselves on Sunday by topping the Dogs, 5-4, to even up the series. They will play the rubber match on Monday, July 14th at 12:05 PM before heading into the All-star break.
Saturday: Portland 8 at New Britain 6
W: C. Rhoades (3-3, 4.91); L: Z. Ward (2-6, 3.76); SV: B. Vaughan (13)
HR: NBR: D. Martin (6), D. Butera (4).
Zach Ward pitched four good innings but didn't make it through the 5th, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned on 9 hits and a walk while striking out 4.
New Britain had taken the early lead on Dustin Martin's homer in the bottom of the first, his sixth of the season over the right field wall.
They'd add to it in the bottom of the 3rd with Drew Butera hitting his fourth home run of the year over the left field wall. Following a ground out to Brock Peterson, Erik Lis singled. Danny Valencia would go down on strikes before Matt Moses and David Winfree both drew walks off Portland's Kyle Jackson. With the bases loaded, Jackson would hit Toby Gardenhire with a pitch to force in a run and would walk Rocky Palacios for yet another one before getting Martin out on strikes.
Needless to say, he was not invited to take the mound the following inning, and was replaced by Chad Rhodes.
Mickey Hall singled in the top of the fourth and Bubba Bell, who will be in the Eastern League All-star Derby, doubled him in. Tony Granadillo walked and Jeff Corsaletti doubled to bring in Bell and put runners on second and third. Aaron Bates reached on a throwing error by Gardenhire at short which served to score Granadillo, and Zach Daeges sacrificed in Corsaletti. Rock Cats field manager Bobby Cuellar then walked out to the mound to take the ball away from Ward. Jason Miller came in and Jorge Jimenez would hit a sac-fly off of him to plate Bates before he could get Iggy Suarez to pop out.
Much like an oldie's station, the hits kept coming for Portland. Hall and Bell both took walks of J-Mill and Granadillo doubled to bring in Hall. Corsaletti sacrificed in Bell. Bates double would plate Granadillo. A wild pitch saw Bates move to 3rd, but Miller would finally get Daeges out on strikes and induce Mark Wagner to hit into a ground out to retire the side.
Suddenly, it was the bottom of the 7th and the Cats needed to double up their run total. Lis and Valencia both singled of reliever T.J. Large before Moses flew out. Winfree then took a walk to load up the bags. Portland then got Beau Vaughan out of the bull pen to close out the game. Gardenhire would single to drive in Lis and Valencia but Palacios would ground into a double play, destroying the Rock Cat's chances.
Lis and Valencia were both 2-for-4 a the plate, Lis with a pair of run and Valencia with one run. Moses was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a run. Gardenhire finished up 1-for-3 but with 3 RBIs.
On to the nightcap...
Saturday: Portland 2 at New Britain 1
W: D. Richardson (6-5, 5.62); L: K. Aselton (4-3, 4.23); SV: R. Lentz (1)
HR: POR: Z. Daeges (2). NBR: T. Gardenhire (1).
I'm not sure how to say this, but Toby Gardenhire hit a home run over the left field wall. It was the first of his professional career, the last one coming when he was with the University of Illinois in 2005, the year he was drafted. How amazing is that?
It was probably the high light of the night, but it didn't last long. Aaron Bates took a walk off Rock Cat's starter Kyle Aselton, and Zach Daeges went yard over the right field wall to to give the Dogs a pair of runs.
Portland's Dustin Richardson allowed the Cats only 2 hits and walk while striking out 4 to pick up the win. Richard Lentz earned the save, allowing only a double to Valencia in the bottom of the 7th.
Matt Moses took a pitch to his hand in the bottom of the fifth and would be replaced in the line up by Felix Molina. There is no indication as to how badly or how long he will be out with the injury.
Rock Cats/OSC: Attendance
Sox and Dawgs Blog
Sunday: Portland 4 at New Britain 5
W: Y. Pino (3-3, 4.00); L: A. Mills (0-2, 6.75); SV: B. Julianel (20)
HR: POR: J. Corsaletti (12), M. Wagner (9), Z. Daeges (3). NBR: E. Lis (10).
Portland opened up the scoring on this one, with Jeff Corsaletti homering in the top of the 4th. Aaron Bates would single and Zach Daeges would go down on strikes before Mark Wagener took another yard ball off New Britain starter Yohan Pino, going over the left field fence to give the Portland a 3 run lead.
The Cats answered back in the bottom of the inning however, with Erik Lis, Danny Valencia and David Winfree all singling to load the bags. Following a strike out to Brock Peterson, Felix Molina singled to plate Lis and Valencia, making it 3-2 dogs.
Drew Butera walked and Brian Dinkelman singled before Lis' bat went BOOM and sent a ball over the right field fence to make it 5-3 Cats.
Armando Gabino replaced Pino in the top of the six and would allow a homer to Daeges, this third of the year, which sent over the right field fence. The Cats then hung on for the remainder of the game, protecting their slim lead.
Bubba Bell would single in the ninth of Ben Julianel, move to 2nd on Kristopher Negron's sac bunt and to 3rd on a Jeff Corsaletti single before Julianel got down to business and struck out Bates and Daeges to end the contest.
Pino worked five innings, allowing 3 runs on six hits and walk while striking out six. Gabino gave up 5 hits, but only one run over the next 3 while striking out 4.
Dinkelman, Lis and Valencia were all 2-for-4 at the plate, Lis with a pair of runs and 3 RBIs, the other two with a run each. Molina was 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs while Winfree (1-for-4) and Gardenhire (1-for-3) shared the one hit wonder award. Martin was also 1-for-3, but added a walk to his performance.
Rock cats/OSC: Attendance