By TOM ROBINSON Special to the Press Herald
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Binghamton Mets returned from the All-Star break and immediately set their sights on finishing what they started.
Binghamton swept a doubleheader from the second-place Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday night to push their Eastern League Eastern Division lead to a season-high 10½ games.
All-Star starters Josh Rodriguez and Cesar Puello each had three of the 13 singles the Mets used to produce a 4-0 victory in the seven-inning second game.
Binghamton started the night with a 6-5 win in the completion of a game that was suspended June 25 in Portland while scoreless after two innings.
The Mets used nine pitchers and got multiple-hit games from six players in the sweep.
"They're a complete team," Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.
The Sea Dogs expanded their own division lead May 24 with a win to start a four-game series in Binghamton. The Mets have owned the entire league since.
With the two wins Thursday, Binghamton has beaten Portland six straight times while going from three games behind to a 10½-game lead in less than seven weeks. The Mets are 29-11 (.725) since their last loss to the Sea Dogs.
Binghamton jumped in front early in both games. The first three hitters singled to start the bottom of the first and put the Mets ahead to stay in the second game.
After neither team managed a hit in the two innings that were played June 25, Binghamton had six hits in the first three innings when Chris Balcom-Miller took over on the mound for Portland with the resumption of the suspended game. Binghamton scored twice each in the fourth and fifth innings, and built the lead to 6-1.
"They're tough outs," Boles said. "They're guys who foul off a lot of pitches and work counts."
Noah Syndergaard of Binghamton was limited to two innings in his second-game start because he's preparing to pitch in the Futures All-Star Game on Sunday in New York. He struck out three and allowed just one baserunner, a Tony Thomas double on a ball that two outfielders lost in the lights.
Ryan Fraser took over with a lead after Danny Muno, Rodriguez and Puello singled to start the game for Binghamton. Fraser gave up a hit in each of his three innings but got the win, combining with three other pitchers on a four-hit shutout.
Allan Dykstra, Binghamton's other All-Star game starter, had a two-run homer in the fourth to open the scoring in the first game.
The Sea Dogs cut into a five-run deficit but fell short.
Brandon Jacobs and Derrik Gibson led the comeback attempt.
Jacobs, who made his Double-A debut when he took over in center field as the suspended game restarted, went 2 for 3 with a triple and a run.
He joined the team from Class A Salem.
Gibson also had two hits and sent a fly ball to the warning track as the only threat in the bottom of the ninth while Jeff Walters was earning his league-high 23rd save.
NOTES: The Sea Dogs got some good news Thursday when third baseman Garin Cecchini was added to the roster for the Futures Game on Sunday.
Cecchini is hitting .385 in 11 games since joining the Sea Dogs.Tweet