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Gold wins ninth game as Yard Goats handle Portland, 7-2

Pitcher Brandon Gold won his team-leading ninth game on Tuesday night as the Yard Goats beat Portland, 7-2/

HARTFORD, August 13 – Hartford pitcher Brandon Gold turned in his longest outing of the season and Brian Serven homered and knocked in four runs to lift Hartford Yard Goats to a 7-2 Eastern League win over the Portland Sea Dogs, before a sellout crowd of 6,429 Tuesday night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Playing as the Steamed Cheeseburgers, Hartford (60-57, 23-27 second half ) defeated the Red Sox’s Double A affiliate for the 10th time in 15 games.

Gold tied a franchise record for most wins by a pitcher in a season, notching his ninth in improving to 9-5.  He hurled seven innings, allowed two runs on seven hits, walked one and struck out six.

After surrendering a two-run double to Austin Rei in the second inning to give second place Portland (26-25 second half) a 2-0 lead, Gold pitched around trouble in the next three innings, before retiring the last seven batters.  The Rockies’ 12th round draft pick in 2016 threw 100 pitches.

Hartford relievers Mitch Horacek and Justin Lawrence pitched around walks in the eighth and ninth innings with Lawrence striking out the side.

Hartford scored an unearned run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Serven.  The Yard Goats offense, however, started to cook in the fourth against Sea Dogs lefty Matthew Kent.  With two outs, reigning Eastern League Player of the Week Bret Boswell singled, Luis Castro walked and Serven launched a three-run homer over the wall in left.  It was his seventh home run of the season and second in two games.

The Yard Goats chased Kent in the seventh inning with two outs.  Scott Burcham and Manny Melendez reached on infield hits, before Vance Vizcaino delivered an RBI-single.  Tyler Nevin then greeted reliever Robinson Leyer with a two-run double.

Kent (5-5) pitched 6 2/3 innings.  He allowed seven runs, six earned on six hits, walked two and struck out six.

Serven’s home run and four RBI and Nevin’s two hits and two RBI paced the Hartford attack.  Brett Netzer and Marcus Wilson each had two hits for the Sea Dogs, while Rei added a two-run double.

The four-game series continues with a doubleheader Wednesday at 6:05 p.m.  Right-handers Antonio Santos and Ashton Goudeau will pitch for Hartford, while former Yard Goat Konnor Wade and Kutter Crawford will pitch for Portland.

It was the 19th straight sellout and 41st of the season at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

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On Monday, Hartford infielder/outfielder Bret Boswell was named the Eastern League player of the week. He batted .316 with three doubles, three home runs, five RBI and a .947 slugging percentage in the past week.

Boswell leads the EL in slugging and is tied for the EL lead in home runs.

Boswell, 24, had an impressive return from the injured list last Tuesday in Reading, Pennsylvania, and cranked a three-run home run in his first at-bat since July 16.  He followed that at-bat with an RBI double and ended up driving in all four Yard Goats runs that night.

The former University of Texas star smashed a three run homer in the first inning again last Thursday in Reading against Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff, who was on a Major League rehabilitation assignment.

Boswell continued his power display when the Yard Goats returned to Dunkin’ Donuts Park this homestand, with this third homer of the week, a solo blast into the right field upper deck which tied the game against Binghamton in the eighth inning.

The Rockwall, Texas native has been terrific since the All-Star break batting .349 with 3 doubles, 5 home runs and 14 RBI along with a .767 slugging percentage.  Overall, Boswell is batting .210 with 18 doubles, 13 home runs and 33 RBI in 84 games in his first season with the Yard Goats.

He is the third Yard Goats player this season to earn a weekly honor by the Eastern League, as left-handed pitcher Jack Wynkoop was named Eastern League Pitcher of the week on July 8, and right-handed pitcher Rico Garcia was named EL Pitcher of the Week on June 10.

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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