HARTFORD, April 20 – The Hartford Yard Goats kicked their six-game homestand off on the right foot with a 6-3 Eastern League win over the Harrisburg Senators before 5,938 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park Friday night. The Yard Goats stole a season-high five bases, had a pair of solo home runs and received solid pitching to win for the third time in the last four games.
Yard Goats started Jesus Tinoco won his second straight start, going 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and fanning a season-high eight batters. He walked three. Four Hartford relievers closed out the victory.
Closer Matt Pierpont walked the bases loaded in the ninth inning but struck out Kelvin Gutierrez to preserve the win and earn his Eastern League-leading fourth save.
Hartford, the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single from Brendan Rodgers and a sacrifice fly from Sam Hilliard. The Yard Goats made it 3-0 on catcher Chris Rabago’s first home run of the season – a blast into the left centerfield seats.
Harrisburg’s Jacob Wilson hit his team-leading fourth home run of the year in the fourth inning but the Yard Goats responded when Mylz Jones hit his first Eastern League home run to left center field to give the Yard Goats a 4-1 lead.
Harrisburg, the Double A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, cut the lead to one run with two runs in the sixth but Hartford pushed the lead back to two runs, 5-3, on a RBI single from Jones, who finished the day going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Garrett Hampson, who leads the Yard Goats with a .321 average, tripled in the seventh inning and scored on a wild pitch for a 6-3 lead. He stole his league-leading 10th stolen base.
NOTES: Rodgers and Jonathan Daza each had two hits. … The Senators stranded 12 baserunners. … Mitch Horacek, the third of five Hartford pitchers, escaped a seventh inning jam with runners at second and third, by retiring Dan Gamache on a sharply hit ground ball to first baseman Brian Mundell. Logan Cozart pitched a scoreless eighth inning. … Game two of the series is Saturday at 6:05 p.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts Park with game three on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. …Because the game was between two National League affiliates, pitchers did hit. They were a combined 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
Hartford 6, Harrisburg 3
Harrisburg (6-7) 000 102 000 – 3-8-0
Hartford (5-9) 210 101 10x – 6-9-0
Luis Reyes, Derek Self (7) and Taylor Gushue; Jesus Tinoco, Scott Griggs (6), Mitch Horacek (7), Logan Cozart (8), Matt Pierpont (9) and Chris Rabago; WP: Tinoco (2-1); LP: Reyes (0-2); H: Griggs 1, Horacek 3, Cozart 4; Save: Pierpont 4; 2B: Yonathan Daza (Hart), Brendan Rodgers (Hart), Jacob Wilson (Harris); 3B: Garrett Hampson (Hart); HR: Mylz Jones (Hart), Wilson (Harris); A: 5,938