HARTFORD, June 26 – Brandon Bednar is no stranger to the Eastern League.
He has spent over a season and a half in the league playing with the Richmond Flying Squirrels a year ago, hitting 24 doubles, a home run and driving in 34 RBI in 117 games.
Bednar began this season in Reading with the Phillies but was released earlier this month by the Philadelphia organization. The Colorado Rockies signed Bednar as a free agent and assigned him to the Yard Goats on June 21.
Bednar had a great night in his first game at Dunkin’ Donuts Park as a member of the Yard Goats. He was 5-for-5 to lead the Yard Goats to an 11-5 EL decision over the Flying Squirrels before the 22nd sellout crowd of the season (6,085) and the sixth sellout in a row.
Hartford (38-37) won their fourth straight game and moved over the .500 mark for the first time since May 28.
Bednar joined Brendan Rodgers as the only Hartford player to get five hits in a game this season.
The Yard Goats had 16 hits – the third time in 2018 the Yard Goats have collected 16 hits in a game and the eighth time in the last 11 games Hartford has collected 10 or more hits in a game. The Yard Goats have also scored 66 runs over that span.
Hartford’s offensive output helped pitcher Ryan Castellani win two straight starts for the first time this year. The right hand hurler allowed three runs in six innings on seven hits. He did not walk anybody and struck out five.
After falling behind 1-0, the Yard Goats batted around in the first inning, scoring five runs. The big blow was a two-run double by Roberto Ramos. After Richmond (38-37) cut the Hartford lead to two runs in the eighth inning, the Goats broke it open with a four-run eighth inning.
In addition to Bednar’s output, Dom Nunez had a homer, single and two RBI. Ryan Metzler had two hits and two RBI and Forrest Wall and Rodgers two hits apiece. Matt Pierpont collected his league leading 20th save, pitching 1.2 innings in relief. Ryan Howard had three hits and an RBI for Richmond.
Game three of the four-game series is Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. RHP Jesus Tinoco will pitch for the Yard Goats against LHP Connor Menez for Richmond.