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Hilliard home run helps Yard Goats salvage split with Sea Dogs

Hartford’s Sam Hilliard had a three-run home run to help Hartford beat Portland Tuesday night.

PORTLAND, ME, April 17 – Sam Hilliard blasted a three-run home run to help lift the Hartford Yard Goats to a 6-3 win over Portland on Tuesday night and help the Yard Goats split an Eastern League doubleheader with the Portland Sea Dogs at chilly Haddock Field.

Portland, the Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, won the opener with an 8-2 decision. Esteban Quiroz had a three-run home run in the first inning of game one for Portland (4-6) and teammate Cole Sturgeon had four hits, including a two-run home run.

Portland starter Kyle Hart pitched six scoreless innings as the Sea Dogs built an 8-0 lead. Hartford (3-8) scored twice in the seventh inning thanks to an RBI double from Garrett Hampson and a RBI single from Brendan Rodgers.

Hartford didn’t get off to a strong start in game two, either. Portland starter Matt Kent limited Hartford to one hit over the first four innings. However in the fifth, things changed. After back-to-back walks, Yonathan Daza’s RBI double drove in Ryan Metzler to tie the game at 1-1.

Hilliard followed with a three-run home run for a 4-1 advantage. It was the third home run of the season for Hilliard. Matt Pierpont worked a perfect seventh inning to earn his third save of the year for the Yard Goats.

Hartford closes out the series Wednesday against Portland at 6 p.m.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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