HARRISBURG, Pa., July 31 – It’s been a long two weeks for the Hartford Yard Goats, who have dropped a season-high five consecutive games and nine of the last 10.
But Hartford was able to put a win on the board Wednesday afternoon. Tyler Nevin snapped a scoreless tie with an RBI-double in the 8th inning and the Hartford Yard Goats earned a 1-0 Eastern League victory over the Harrisburg Senators Wednesday afternoon, before 4,176 at FNB Field.
Nevin’s big hit made a winner of reliever Mitch Horacek (3-0), after starter Heath Holder set the stage with six superb innings. Horacek and Foley each pitched around men on base in the seventh and eighth innings, before closer Scott Griggs retired the Senators in order to register his eighth save of the season. It was Hartford’s eighth shutout of the season.
Hartford (53-53, 16-23 second half) mounted its winning rally in the eighth, after Vance Vizcaino reached on a fielder’s choice, following a failed sacrifice attempt. Vizcaino then stole his team-leading 18th base, setting the stage for Nevin’s double, which he pulled into the gap in left-center off of Harrisburg reliever Andrew Lee.
Holder, an Eastern League All-Star, turned in one of his best outings, as he pitched six scoreless innings, limiting Harrisburg (18-20) to three hits. He walked one and struck out six, tying a season-high in Ks.. He retired the last eight Senators batters he faced.
Meanwhile, his counterpart, Harrisburg right-hander Jackson Tetreault pitched 5.1 scoreless innings, before reliever Lee entered to pitch out of second-and-third, one-out jam by getting Yard Goats catcher Chris Rabago to line out into a double-play at third.
Nevin’s double, single and RBI led Hartford. Manny Melendez, playing his 100th game of the season, added two hits to give him 106, second in the league. Luis Garcia had two hits for Harrisburg.
The finale and rubber game of the three-game series is Thursday at 7 p.m. In a match up of right-handers, Brandon Gold (7-5, 3.51) will pitch for Hartford, while Kyle McGowin (0-0, 3.60) will get the nod for the Senators.
Hartford had lost four straight to Akron (Cleveland Indians affiliate) at Dunkin Donuts Park before dropping the opener of this series with the Senators, a Washington Nationals affiliate.