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Rodgers has game-winning hits in two games on Wednesday for Yard Goats

Hartford shortstop Brendan Rodgers had game-winning hits in two games Wednesday to help the Yard Goats sweep a doubleheader from Reading at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

HARTFORD, July 18 – Shortstop Brendan Rodgers had two game-winning hits Wednesday as the Hartford Yard Goats swept an Eastern League doubleheader from the Reading Fightin’ Phils at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Rodgers had a walk-off single in game one to lift Hartford to a 2-1 victory. In game two, Rodgers did it again with an extra-inning double to drive in two runs and spark the Yard Goats to a 3-2 victory in eight innings.

It enabled Hartford to sweep the three-game series with Reading and return to .500 (47-47) for the first time since July 3.

In the opener, Rodgers drove in teammate Chris Rabago from third base with a walk-off single to left in the bottom of the seventh inning off of reliever Edgar Garcia for a 2-1 victory.

Reading reliever Kyle Dohy walked the first two batters in the seventh, before a sacrifice bunt set up the winning finish.  Reading (44-51) had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Darick Hall.  Hartford tied it in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Roberto Ramos.

Rodgers led the Yard Goats with two hits and an RBI.  Starting pitcher Frank Duncan hurled four innings and allowed one run on three hits with two walks and two strike outs for Hartford. Mitch Horacek picked up his first win as a Yard Goat, pitching a scoreless seventh inning.

In game two, the Yard Goats were trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning. Rodgers doubled to right-center to score Brandon Bednar and Sam Hilliard to win game two.

Earlier, Rodgers had scored the Yard Goats first run on the front end of a double steal. Logan Cozart picked up the game two win, after allowing the go-ahead run to score in the eighth inning on a wild pitch.  Lefty Evan Grills started and pitched 4 2/3 innings, permitting one unearned run on seven hits.  He struck out a season-high eight and did not walk anyone.

Rodgers is hitting .274 with 89 hits, 22 doubles, 17 home runs and 61 RBI – all best on the team. It was his first game with the Yard Goats since last Friday. He played in the MLB Future’s Game for the second year in a row on Sunday in Washington. He was 1-for-2 with a double and one run scored.

The Yard Goats open a seven-game road trip Thursday night in Portland at 7 p.m.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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