Wednesday, March 12, 2014
By TOM ROBINSON Special to the Press Herald
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Chris Schwinden gave the Binghamton Mets a nearly perfect start to Friday's Eastern League doubleheader with the Portland Sea Dogs.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 1-4) at Binghamton Mets (Josh Stinson 4-1)
WHEN: 7:05 p.m.
Schwinden was perfect through six innings before settling for a two-hitter as the Mets won 10-0 in the first of two seven-inning games.
In the second game, Ryne Lawson provided the Sea Dogs with a strong effort in his first start of the season as Portland earned a split with a 10-2 victory.
The Sea Dogs were the victims of the two most recent Mets no-hitters and were in danger being part of Binghamton's first perfect game.
"This was kind of special," Mets Manager Tim Teufel said. "I was pulling for (Schwinden). The whole dugout was kind of silent."
Che-Hsuan Lin became the first Portland player to reach base when he singled to center field on the second pitch of the seventh inning.
"(Catcher Mike) Nikeas called a slider," said Schwinden, who threw a perfect game as a high school sophomore and has not had a no-hitter since then. "I wanted to get it outside, but it was not out enough. It was kind of over the plate."
Schwinden got the next two outs before Luis Exposito doubled off the top of the right-field fence, a drive Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler argued should have been ruled a two-run homer.
When Anthony Rizzo flied out, Schwinden had his shutout, which included five strikeouts.
"Fastball command was the big thing," said Schwinden, who improved to 4-5 and lowered his ERA from 5.35 to 4.53. "I wasn't getting a lot of breaking balls over for strikes, but I was trying to change levels with them and that seemed to work."
Jonathan Malo's three-run homer highlighted a seven-run fifth inning that gave the Mets their 10-0 lead. Raul Reyes and Kirk Nieuwenhuis also homered.
Rizzo and Yamaico Navarro homered for the Sea Dogs in the second game to support Lawson (5-2), who retired nine straight to keep Binghamton hitless through 32/3 innings. He held the Mets to two runs, one earned, on four hits and two walks while striking out one in five innings.
Navarro, who drove in the game's first run on a sacrifice fly in the first inning, helped put the game away in the sixth.
Chang, who finished 4 for 4, singled for the first of his two RBI, and Navarro's homer to left on a 3-2 pitch brought in three more.
Rizzo's mammoth two-run homer in the third scored Chang and gave the Sea Dogs a 3-0 lead.
Nate Spears, Chang and Rizzo had consecutive run-scoring hits in the three-run ninth.
NOTES: Sea Dogs reliever Jason Rice has been added to the Eastern Division team for the Eastern League all-star game. Rice replaces teammate Stephen Fife, who was selected but will be unavailable to pitch. Fife will still be part of all-star festivities for the July 14 game in Harrisburg, Pa. Rice has converted all nine of his save opportunities this season. ...
Portland outfielder Jason Place, who had been on the inactive list, was sent to the Gulf Coast League Red Sox. Place hit .127 in 25 games and struck out 29 times in 79 at-bats. ...
Miguel Pinango threw Binghamton's last no-hitter July 23, 2006, in a seven-inning game at Portland. Bob Keppel threw a nine-inning no-hitter against the Sea Dogs Aug. 2, 2003.