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Strong pitching lifts Yard Goats past Portland in series finale

Pitcher Brandon Gold won his third straight start as the Yard Goats closed out their road trip in Portland Wednesday with a victory.

PORTLAND, Maine, May 15 – Hartford pitcher Brandon Gold and three relievers combined to pitch the surging Hartford Yard Goats to a 2-1 Eastern League victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Wednesday night, before 3,515 at Hadlock Field.

The win placed Hartford (21-18) a season-high three games over .500 and in third place, 2½ games behind first place Binghamton.  It also marked the Yard Goats eighth series win in their last nine.  Hartford has also beaten the Red Sox affiliate in six of nine games.

Gold (4-2) has won three straight games and he allowed one run on six hits.  He walked two and struck out three, before being lifted with two outs in the sixth, when the Sea Dogs loaded the bases.

Heath Holder came on to pitch out of the jam and hurled a scoreless seventh inning.  Logan Cozart pitched the eighth and Yard Goats closer Ben Bowden nailed down his league-leading 12th save with two strike outs in a 1-2-3 ninth.  The stellar pitching performance lowered the Yard Goats league-leading ERA to 2.87.

Vince Fernandez gave Hartford a first inning lead with an opposite field solo home run atop the 37 foot-high wall in left off of Tanner Houck.  It was his eighth home run of the year.  The Yard Goats added a run in the second on a double off the wall by Bret Boswell and a two-out infield hit by Ryan Metzler.

Portland cut the lead in half in the fourth inning on three straight singles, capped by an RBI-hit by Bobby Dalbec.  Gold then pitched out of a second-and-third one-out jam in the fifth, before being lifted in the sixth.

Alan Trejo had two hits for Hartford, while C.J. Chatham led the Sea Dogs with two hits.

Houck, the Red Sox first round draft choice in 2017, pitched well for Portand in 6.2 innings, in his longest outing of the season.  He permitted two runs on six hits, walked two and struck out seven.

Hartford returns to Dunkin’ Donuts  Park Thursday at 7 PM to start a four-game series against New Hampshire.  LHP Ty Culbreth will pitch for the Yard Goats against RHP Hector Perez.

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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