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Red Sox pitchers help handcuff Yard Goats

Rich Hill pitches to the plate in Thursday night’s Eastern League game in Hartford.

HARTFORD, July 28, 2022 – A pair of pitchers from the Boston Red Sox with their Double A affiliate Portland kept the Hartford Yard Goats off the bases to help the Sea Dogs earn a second straight win with a 10-5 decision Thursday night before a sellout crowd at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Pitchers Rich Hill, Matt Barners and infielder Christian Arroyo are with the Sea Dogs on major league rehabilitation outings to prepare for their return to the Red Sox.

Hill and Barnes pitched the first four innings for the Sea Dogs and when they left, Portland had a commanding 6-1 lead. Hill pitched three innings, gave up four hits and struck out five. Barnes pitched an inning, didn’t give up a hit and fanned two.

Arroyo chipped in as well with an RBI single.

Portland’s hitters feasted on Hartford starter Tony Locey (0-2), who gave up eight hits and six runs. Portland took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice fly from Elih Marrero but Hartford tied it on a solo home run from Issac Collins off Hill, who was making his first start of the season for Portland.

The Sea Dogs built a 7-1 lead before Hartford made a rally with three runs in the seventh inning.

Daniel Cope crushed a solo blast to the left field seats, his sixth of the season. Tyler Hill followed with his own longball to left-center, his third of the year, cutting Portland’s lead to 7-3. The back-to-back homers by Cope and Hill were Hartford’s first since July 6.

With two outs in the frame, Michael Toglia singled to plate Cristopher Navarro, scoring the Yard Goats’ fourth run. Hunter Stovall scored on a passed ball in the ninth, putting the Yard Goats behind 7-4.

But Portland, which had 13 hits, added another three runs in the top of the ninth inning.

Christian Koss was 3-for-5 with a double for Portland while Izzy Wilson (2-5), Tyler Dearden (2-4) and Elih Marrero (1-4) each had two RBI.

Portland (46-47, 16-8) remains in first place in the Eastern League’s Northeast Division with the win with the Yard Goats (57-35, 14-9) slipping into third place, 1½ games off the pace in the second half race for the division title.

The series continues Friday night with RHP pitcher Michael Baird getting the start for the Yard Goats and RHP Dylan Spacke getting the start for Portland.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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