BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Binghamton Mets are doing their best to make sure there is a race in the Eastern Division when teams return from next week’s Eastern League All-Star Game.
The Mets swept the Portland Sea Dogs in Wednesday’s doubleheader, 6-1 and 1-0, and have won the first three games of the four-game series.
Binghamton, which trailed by eight games when the series started Monday, has cut the deficit to five, matching the closest the race has been since May 29. The Mets, who have outscored the Sea Dogs 18-5 in the series, can creep closer in the finale Thursday afternoon.
The Sea Dogs have not lost four straight at any point this season.
“We just didn’t score any runs these last couple games,” Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon said.
“I’m sure we’ve lost three in a row; I’m sure we’ve faced some good pitching and didn’t score a lot of runs before. No one’s panicking.”
Gabriel Ynoa threw a four-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks to help Binghamton win the second game despite managing just one hit.
“I just tried to stay aggressive,” Ynoa said.
The 21-year-old, who is in his first year in the minors, was making his second Double-A start after going 8-2 at St. Lucie of the Florida State League.
The Sea Dogs did not get a runner to third base against Ynoa.
Mike McCarthy (8-4) held Binghamton to one hit through four innings, and Wilfredo Boscan and Aaron Kurcz followed with a hitless inning each.
The one hit was Rylan Sandoval’s two-out single to right field in the bottom of the second that produced the game’s only run after McCarthy issued two of his three walks.
Brian Burgamy and Dustin Lawley hit home runs, and Angel Cuan (3-4) pitched five scoreless innings for Binghamton in the opener.
Burgamy hit one of the longest home runs in NYSEG Stadium history in the bottom of the first when he lofted a 1-0 pitch over the scoreboard/videoboard combination in right field. Lawley nearly made it back-to-back homers when he doubled off the left-field fence.
Lawley got his homer when his two-run shot capped a four-run fifth inning for a 5-0 lead. Lawley is fifth in the league with 16 homers and Burgamy is tied for sixth with 15.
The Sea Dogs trailed 6-0 when Michael Almanzar led off the seventh inning with a home run.
With Portland hurting for starting pitching, Mike Augliera (3-8) went the distance despite allowing 10 hits.
The Sea Dogs have another doubleheader Saturday and Henry Owens is out of the rotation to pitch in the Futures All-Star Game.
Pitching coach Bob Kipper said Jeremy Kehrt will start Friday against New Hampshire and Boscan will join Brian Johnson as the starters in the doubleheader.
Both of Kehrt’s appearances with the Sea Dogs have been in relief while Boscan has started just once in nine games pitched. Both started more often earlier in their careers.