Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By TOM ROBINSON Special to the Press Herald
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Home plate umpire Tim Rosso's strike zone was there somewhere, but Sea Dogs starting pitcher Stolmy Pimentel never found it.
TUESDAY-THURSDAY: Akron Aeros at Sea Dogs
FRIDAY-SUNDAY: Erie SeaWolves at Sea Dogs
Pimentel walked four of the first five batters, hit another, then left the game after the only hit he allowed gave the Binghamton Mets a four-run lead on the way to a 6-2 Eastern League victory Sunday afternoon.
"It just looked like he had a hard time establishing a rhythm," Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.
Nine of Pimentel's first 10 pitches were balls. The only hit he allowed was Juan Centeno's bloop two-run single that made it 4-0 with one out.
Pimentel then left the game having thrown 34 pitches, just 13 of which were strikes.
Sean Kazmar homered in the second to give Binghamton a 5-0 lead.
From there, the Sea Dogs fought back, even getting the go-ahead run to the plate in the sixth inning.
Adrian Rosario came out of the Binghamton bullpen to strike out Derrik Gibson with the bases loaded to end the inning.
"I thought our guys after the first inning played a solid ballgame," Boles said. "It was just unfortunate because we couldn't find the zone at the beginning."
Rosario relieved lefty Mark Cohoon (6-7) who held the Sea Dogs hitless for the first 42/3 before allowing two runs in the sixth.
Gibson walked for the first Sea Dogs base runner with one out in the third then singled for the first hit in the fifth.
"He did a great job commanding the zone and got a lot of medium fly-ball contact," Boles said.
The Sea Dogs got more distance out of those flyballs in the sixth. Jackie Bradley Jr. led off by sending a 1-2 pitch into the parking lot beyond the right-field fence for the first run.
Reynaldo Rodriguez and Kolbrin Vitek added back-to-back doubles for another run and two more reached base to chase Cohoon from the game.
Four Binghamton relievers combined to allow just two singles over the final 31/3 innings.
"Their bullpen is definitely one of their strengths," Boles said.
That strength got a boost during the series from the addition of Frank Francisco on an injury rehabilitation assignment from the parent New York Mets. Francisco, who had 18 saves in New York before being sidelined by a strained oblique, threw scoreless innings twice in the last three days.
The Sea Dogs entered the series with a chance to catch or pass the Mets for fourth place in the Eastern Division. Instead, they dropped three of four.
The Sea Dogs returned to Portland Sunday night. "We just need to regroup and get to work at home," Boles said.
Akron comes to Portland for a three-game series beginning Tuesday.