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Scherzer’s rehab start delayed to Wednesday; Stovall leads Goats to win

HARTFORD, June 28, 2022 – The sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Park didn’t get to see three-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher Max Scherzer pitch against the Hartford Yard Goats Tuesday evening

The New York Mets wanted Scherzer to rest for another day before returning to the mound for his second rehabilitation start with their Double A affiliate Binghamton Rumble Ponies, according to comments from Mets manager Buck Showalter in the New York Post.

Scherzer, 37, strained an oblique muscle in May and went on the disabled list. He pitched 3½ innings for Binghamton lastTuesday.

Still, the Yard Goats fans had plenty of reasons to smile. Hunter Stovall hit a pair of home runs and teammate Niko Decolati drove in two runs as the Yard Goats topped the Rumble Ponies 6-2. Stovall added a triple in the third inning as Hartford started right where it left off in the first half of the 2022 split season.

In the bottom of the first, Stovall teed off on a numbers-high fastball and drove it over the fence in left to put Hartford ahead 1-0. Aaron Schunk later drew a two-out walk, and Brenton Doyle drove him home with his tenth double of the year off the wall in right-center field. Decolati followed in the second inning with his first-career Eastern League home run to put Hartford on top, 3-0.

Hartford pitcher Karl Kauffmann rolled through the first six Binghamton hitters, including a strikeout of Mets’ No. 1 prospect Francisco Álvarez on a 3-2 fastball.

The Rumble Ponies didn’t hit a ball out of the infield against the righthander until Wyatt Young’s leadoff single in the third inning. With two on and nobody out, Kauffmann set down the next three hitters in order, including Álvarez’s second strikeout of the game. The Michigan product faced no more than four hitters in each of the following three innings and finished with six strikeouts in six innings.

Hartford’s Kyle Datres led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single up the middle. The first baseman stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. With the infield drawn in, Decolati notched his second RBI of the game with a hard single through the middle. Aaron Schunk drove in his first run of the game with a bloop single down the right field line in the fifth to score Isaac Collins and make it 5-0.

The Rumble Ponies got a run back in the top of the seventh inning on back-to-back doubles. But with two outs and runners on the corners, Fineas Del Bonta-Smith struck out Álvarez for a third time.

Stovall rocked his second home run of the night in the bottom of the seventh inning for his first multi-HR game since 2018 and a 6-1 lead. Mets’ No. 2 prospect Brett Baty capped the scoring with a solo shot in the eighth.

Scherzer is scheduled to start on Wednesday night against Hartford’s Mitch Kilkenny beginning at 7:05 p.m.

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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