HARTFORD, May 6 – Yard Goats infielder Brendan Rodgers is the top prospect in the Colorado Rockies’ minor league farm system. He showed more than 6,600 fans at Dunkin’ Donuts Park his talent Sunday as he led Hartford to a 12-4 Eastern League victory over the visiting Portland Sea Dogs.
Rodgers, 21, hit two home runs and drove in five runs. He smacked a three-run home run to left field in the fourth off Portland’s hard-throwing Yankory Pimental to give the Yard Goats a 6-1 lead. Rodgers hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season in the seventh inning to left center field.
Hartford (17-12) had 13 hits as they stormed to a team record 11th straight win at Dunkin’ Donuts Park and their fifth straight victory. After opening the season with a 0-6 record, the Yard Goats have won 17 of their last 23 ballgames and have moved to within 1½ games of first place New Hampshire in the Eastern Division.
The Yard Goats batted around in the fourth and fifth innings, after sending eight men to the plate in the third inning, as they unleashed a 13-hit attack and scored a season-high 12 runs.
Ryan Metzler added two hits, including a home run and an RBI. Yonathan Daza slugged his first Double-A home run and had three RBI, while Brian Mundell added two hits.
Hartford pitcher Jesus Tinoco was the beneficiary of the offensive attack, hurling six innings for his fourth win of the year against two losses. He surrendered four runs on six hits, did not walk anybody and struck out seven.
For Portland (7-18), Josh Ockimey slugged a three-run upper deck home run to right-center for the Red Sox affiliate, which lost for the fifth straight game.
The four-game series with the Sea Dogs drew 25,447 and the three weekend games attracted 20,189, the second highest weekend attendance for a series in May at the ballpark. There were 6,613 fans at the ballpark on Sunday.
The Yard Goats open a three-game series against Tim Tebow and the Binghamton Rumble Ponies at Dunkin’ Donuts Park, Monday at 7:05 p.m.