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Garcia wins his first Eastern League game as Yard Goats blank Portland, 5-0

Hartford second baseman Brandon Bednar (39) was 2-for-4 with one RBI in Saturday night’s 5-0 Eastern League victory over Portland.

HARTFORD, July 7 – Hartford Yard Goats pitcher Rico Garcia made his debut at Dunkin’ Donuts Park a winning one. The 24-year-old righthander hurled six scoreless innings and struck out seven to help the Yard Goats snap a four-game losing streak with a 5-0 Eastern League victory over the Portland Sea Dogs before another sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Garcia joined the Yard Goats on Monday after getting a promotion from the Colorado Rockies’ Class A affiliate in Lancaster, California where Garcia was 7-7 in 16 appearances with a 3.42 ERA and 101 strikeouts and just 22 walks in 100 innings of work.

Garcia, a native of Honolulu, Hawaii, didn’t permit a runner to reach third base. He gave up three hits and walked just two in his second start in the Eastern League.

Hartford relievers Logan Cozart and Matt Pierpont closed out the win with three scoreless innings of work. Pierpont had a strikeout as he picked up his league-leading 23rd save and the fifth save in the last six games. He has allowed just two hits in his last six appearances.

Hartford (42-44) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Portland starter Matt Kent, on an RBI double by Sam Hilliard and a two-run bloop single down the right field line by Dom Nunez. All the runs scored after two were out.

The Yard Goats added single runs in the fourth and eighth innings, on RBI-singles by Mylz Jones and Brandon Bednar.

Nunez had two hits and two RBI and Jones and Hilliard each had two hits and an RBI to pace Hartford’s 10-hit attack.  Kent allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings of work for Portland (34-52), the Red Sox affiliate, to absorb the loss.

The series and homestand wrap up Sunday afternoon at 1:05.  Righthanded pitcher Jesus Tinoco will pitch for the Yard Goats against Mike Shawaryn for Portland.

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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