HARTFORD, July 26, 2022 — Hunter Stovall cracked two solo homers to left field, and Willie MacIver launched his 13th home run of the season, as the Hartford Yard Goats beat the Portland Sea Dogs 6-1 in Eastern League baseball action front of a sellout crowd Tuesday night at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.
Hartford (57-33, 14-7 second half) won its eighth consecutive game and moved into first place in the Eastern League Northeast Division for the first time since June 25. Hartford leads Somerset by one game in the overall division standings. The Yard Goats have won 11 of 13 games against the Sea Dogs.
Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes (UConn) pitched a scoreless inning in relief for Portland as part of a major league rehab assignment.
Hartford jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning off Portland’s starter Bryan Mata. MacIver, Isaac Collins, and Daniel Montano started the inning with walks. Stovall’s groundout drove in MacIver to get the Yard Goats on the board. Grant Lavigne stepped up to the plate and lined an RBI single to right field, doubling Hartford’s lead.
Yard Goats starting pitcher Nick Bush allowed one run through four and two-thirds innings, striking out five batters. Portland scored on an RBI double by David Hamilton in the fifth inning to cut the lead to one, 2-1, but Phineas Del Bonta-Smith secured the final out of the frame, keeping Hartford in front by a run.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Stovall launched a solo shot to left, adding some insurance for the Yard Goats. The homer was the shortstop’s seventh of the campaign and extended Hartford’s lead to 3-1.
In the sixth, MacIver crushed a two-run homer to left-center field, adding to the Yard Goats’ lead, 5-1. Stovall homered again in the seventh, his second solo blast of the game, tallying Hartford’s sixth run.
The Yard Goats continue their homestand against the Red Sox affiliate, the Portland Sea Dogs, on Wednesday night at 7:05. RHP Mitch Kilkenny will start for the Yard Goats and RHP Victor Santos will start for the Sea Dogs.
NOTES: Yard Goats pitcher P.J. Pouli, who played at UConn, was promoted to the Colorado Rockies’ Triple A team in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pouli, a left-handed pitcher out of Marion, Mass., went 7-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 56 career games over the past two seasons in Hartford.
RED SOX in HARTFORD – Expect three Red Sox players in Hartford this week playing for Portland as they work their way back from injuries. The Springfield Republican reported that Barnes should make two more appearances this week with the Sea Dogs. Sox catcher Christian Arroyo may play on Wednesday, according to the Republican, with pitcher Rich Hill expected to see some time on the mound.