HARTFORD, June 4 – Three Hartford Yard Goat pitchers combined to allow one hit and strike out 16 batters as the Yard Goats beat the Trenton Thunder, 3-0 in Eastern League baseball action Tuesday night before a sellout crowd of 6,371 at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Hartford (33-23) moved within a half-game of the first place Thunder, the Double A affiliate of the New York Yankees.
The Yard Goats carried a no-hit bid into the ninth inning. After Eastern League saves leader Ben Bowden struck out the first batter, Matt Lipka reached on Trenton’s only hit, a push-bunt to the right side of the infield. Bowden then retired the next two batters, but both benches cleared after the game, with Bowden and Lipka exchanging words, before order was restored.
Hartford starter Rico Garcia won his league-leading seventh game (7-1), pitching the first six innings, allowing no hits or walks and striking out 11. It was the second time this season he has struck out 11, tying a franchise high for a strikeouts in a game.
Jordan Foley and Logan Cozart, followed with perfect innings, before Bowden closed it out with his league-leading 18th save in 18 tries. Hartford pitchers struck out 16 Trenton batters, and lead the league in strikeouts with 531.
The Yard Goats took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a home run into the left-field bullpen by Colton Welker, his fifth home run of the season. Bret Boswell followed with an upper deck shot to right in the second inning, while Mylz Jones homered to left in the fifth inning. Manny Melendez added two hits for the Yard Goats, who have won eight of their last 10 games.
Rony Garcia, who suffered the loss for Trenton (32-21), pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, one walk and four strike outs.
Game two of the three-game series Wednesday at 7:05 PM. RHP Ashton Goudeau will pitch for Hartford against RHP Deivi Garcia for Trenton.