PORTLAND, ME, May 22 – For the second straight game, Hartford third baseman Brendan Rodgers hit the home run that turned out to be the game-winning hit.
On Tuesday night, Rodgers, the No. 1 prospect for the Colorado Rockies, smashed a 94 mile per hour fastball from left-handed pitcher Josh Taylor to help the Hartford Yard Goats beat the Portland Sea Dogs, 5-3 in Eastern League action at Hadlock Field.
On Monday night, Rodgers hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning to lift the Yard Goats to a 13-10 victory over Akron to complete a seven-game homestand at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Rodgers’ tenth home run of the season in the eighth inning gave the Yard Goats (24-20) the victory over Portland. It was his third home run of the year against Portland and it helped the Yard Goats beat the Sea Dogs for the tenth time in 12 games.
Rodgers is hitting .295 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI, second in the league behind New Hampshire’s Vladmir Guerrero, Jr.
After Rodgers gave Hartford the lead, Yard Goats closer Matt Pierpont closed out the contest with his league-leading 12th save.
Hartford jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning, thanks to some shoddy defense on the part of the Sea Dogs, the Double A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
After Hartford’s Scott Burcham opened the third inning with a double down the left field line, Yard Goats teammate Chris Rabago reached first base on a sacrifice, when the catcher dropped the bunt. Burcham scored, when the first baseman dropped a ground ball by Omar Carrizales and the Yard Goats wrapped up the scoring with an RBI-double by Yonathan Daza and a sacrifice fly by Rodgers.
Yard Goats starting pitcher Jesus Tinoco threw five innings, allowed only four hits, struck out seven and did not walk anybody. The only run he surrendered was on a lead off home run by Luke Tendler in the fifth inning.
Portland tied the game in the seventh inning with only one hit. A third strike wild pitch with one out starting the uprising. A single by Tendler, a hit batsman, fielder’s choice ground out and bases loaded walk enabled the tying runs to score.
For Hartford, Daza had a double, two singles and an RBI. Scott Burcham and Sam Hilliard each had a double and single. Tendler paced the Sea Dogs with a home run and single.
The Yard Goats continue the three-game series Wednesday in Portland.