HARTFORD, August 10 – The Hartford Yard Goats are back in town for a quick three-game series this weekend with the Bowie Baysox – the Double A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
The visiting Baysox erupted for five runs in the final three three innings to beat the Yard Goats, 7-5, in an Eastern League decision Friday night before another sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Park of 6,850 fans. Hartford’s last seven losses have all been by two runs or less.
Game two of the series on Saturday was postponed by rain and will be make up as part of a doubleheader beginning Sunday at 5:05 p.m. at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Playing as Los Chivos de Hartford on Friday night, the Yard Goats took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning, before Bowie’s Martin Cervenka cut the lead to two runs with a solo homer off of Hartford starting pitcher Frank Duncan. One out later, Duncan was lifted, after turning in his longest outing of the season. Duncan pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out three.
Hartford took a two-run led into the eighth inning and handed the ball to reliever Rayan Gonzalez, who is working his way back after missing the 2017 season with Tommy John surgery on his elbow. It was his 16th appearance of the season with the Yard Goats and he gave up four consecutive singles including RBI singles from Austin Hays and Anderson Feliz, enabling Bowie to tie the game at 5-5.
Bowie took the lead in the ninth inning off Hartford closer Matt Pierpont. Bowie’s Rylan Bannon led off the inning with a single. The Baysox’s Ryan McKenna reached base on a sacrifice bunt attempt when Yard Goats catcher Chris Rabago failed to retire Bannon at second base.
With two outs, Bowie’s Aderlin Rodriguez had a two-run single to give Bowie a 7-5 lead.
Bowie’s pitching shut down Hartford (53-62) over the last five innings, permitting one hit. Winning pitcher Jay Flaa retired six of seven batters, while hard-throwing right-hander Branden Kline retired the side in order in the ninth to register his 11th save of the season.
For Hartford, left-handed slugger Sam Hilliard had a home run, single, three RBI and two runs scored to pace the Yard Goats attack.
The Yard Goats grabbed an early 4-0 lead in the first inning off Bowie starting pitcher Dillon Tate, making his second appearance with the Baysox.
Tate, the No. 9 ranked prospect in the New York Yankees organization this spring, came to the Orioles in late July along with Cody Carroll and Triple A lefthander Josh Rogers for Baltimore’s closer Zach Britton.
Harford erupted for four runs in the first inning on an RBI-single by Roberto Ramos and a three-run homer into the upper deck in right by Hilliard.
Bowie (53-62) started chipping away against Duncan, when Ryan Mountcastle slugged a two-run home run into the left-field seats in the third inning.
Tate, meanwhile, settled down to pitch six innings. He allowed five runs, four earned, on six hits. He walked two and did not strike out a batter.