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Yard Goats win first game on strength of Serven’s three-run home run

A three-run home run in the second inning of Sunday’s Eastern League game in Richmond from catcher Brian Serven, above, lifted the Yard Goats to their first win of the season.

RICHMOND, Va., April 7 – It took four games but the Hartford Yard Goats have won their first game of the season.

Hartford shutout the Richmond Flying Squirrels on Sunday, 3-0, to snap a three-game losing streak at The Diamond in Eastern League action. Left-handed starter Ty Culbreth pitched five scoreless innings for the Yard Goats (1-3) and rookie catcher Brian Serven smashed a three-run home run.

Hartford’s bullpen got the job done with four relievers’ (Philip Diehl, Rayan Gonzalez, Logan Cozart and Ben Bowden) hurled four scoreless innings to complete the shutout win.  The win came against former major league pitcher Brandon Beachy who pitched for the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the second inning, Hartford’s Tyler Nevin and Vince Fernandez started the inning with consecutive walks off Beachy and Serven followed with the Yard Goats’ first homer of the season. Serven hit 12 home runs last year with Lancaster, California, in Single A baseball.

Culbreth pitched well in his Double A debut with three strikeouts, one walk and three hits allowed.

The Yard Goats dropped two games on Saturday to Richmond, the Double A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. In game one of a doubleheader, Richmond beat Hartford, 2-1 in eight innings.

The Yard Goats, the Double A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, had a 1-0 lead in the opener but Richmond tied it with a run in their final at bat. Then, the Flying Squirrels scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, a sacrifice fly by Heath Quinn, scoring Johneshwy Fargas for the walk-off win. Richmond pitching limited Hartford to just one hit in the contest.

Hartford scored its only run after reliever Rodolfo Martinez walked the bases loaded, and Chris Rabago came home on Colton Welker’s fielder’s choice grounder in the sixth inning.  In the bottom of the seventh, Richmond’s Brock Stassi led off the inning with a double against reliever Reid Humphreys.

Stassi later scored on an RBI pinch hit single by Jacob Heyward tying the game at 1-1 and sending it to extra innings.  In the eighth, the Squirrels loaded the bases against reliever Alexander Guillen.  Quinn sacrifice fly scored Fargas as he just beat the throw from right fielder Willie Abreu.

Yard Goats starter Brandon Gold pitched well in his first Double A start, going five scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

In game two, Giants affiliate scored three runs in the third inning and cruised by behind starter Garrett Williams and two relievers as Richmond earned a 3-0 decision to move to 3-0 for the first time in franchise history.

The Flying Squirrels scored three times in the third inning off Hartford starter Jordan Foley.  Richmond loaded the bases on two hits and a walk and then Levi Michael’s sacrifice fly scored Jonah Arenado for the first run.  After another walk, Fargas hit a hard grounder that second baseman Ryan Metzler knocked down in the infield, but a run scored. However, his flip to second base was high and allowed a second run to score, giving Richmond a 3-0 lead.

Hartford plays their first home game on Thursday night at Dunkin Donuts Park. Before that, the Goats have a three-game series in Harrisburg against the Senators beginning Monday night at 6:30 p.m.



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