Wednesday, December 11, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Telegram
PORTLAND — Pedro Zapata hit his first home run of the season in the 10th inning Saturday to lead the Binghamton Mets to a 6-5 victory against the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.
Juan Centeno of the Binghamton Mets slides into second base Saturday, disrupting Ryan Dent of the Portland Sea Dogs and breaking up a potential double play.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
WHO: Binghamton Mets (Greg Peavey 2-1) at Portland Sea Dogs (Chris Balcom-Miller 2-3)
WHEN: 1 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
Zapata’s two-out homer came off reliever Will Latimer (1-3).
It might have been a different outcome if the Sea Dogs (15-26) had fully capitalized on early opportunities.
After grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first, Portland had a chance to add to it in its next two at-bats but came away empty. The Sea Dogs had two on with one out in the second and two on with no outs in the third, but both times failed to capitalize.
“I think we definitely should have put the pressure on them earlier in the game,” said Portland shortstop Derrik Gibson. “That would have taken a lot of pressure off our pitchers and they would have been able to pitch more aggressively knowing that they were ahead.
“I think we waited a little too late to get the bats going, but we still battled there at the end and scored some runs to get us back in the ball game.”
The Sea Dogs needed some late-game offense to force extra innings after the Mets (20-20) scored five runs in the eighth to take a 5-1 lead, including Raul Reyes’ two-run homer. Binghamton sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning, which also included a run-scoring double by Juan Centeno.
Four of the five runs in the inning came off Caleb Clay, who came on in relief of Portland starter Stolmy Pimentel to start the seventh.
Back-to-back home runs by the Sea Dogs in their half of the eighth brought them within striking distance. Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a two-run shot followed by a solo homer by Bryce Brentz to cut the Mets’ lead to 5-4.
Portland forced extra innings in the bottom of the ninth. Gibson and Ryan Dent singled to put runners at first and third with no outs. Jeremy Hazelbaker sent a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Gibson to make it 5-5. The inning ended when Dent was caught in a rundown between first and second and Kolbrin Vitek grounded out.
“We missed some opportunities early on but I was very pleased how our offense fought back into the game in the eighth and ninth inning to tie that up and give ourselves a chance,” said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles.
“Our guys never quit. They grind out their at-bats and they just keep working hard. The eighth and ninth was an example of that.”
Portland, which saw a three-game home winning streak end, jumped on Binghamton starter Jenrry Mejia early. Hazelbaker led off the home half of the first with a single, stole second and scored on a double by Juan Carlos Linares to give Portland a 1-0 lead.
NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 6,045. … Stolmy Pimentel, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, turned in a quality start for the Sea Dogs. He allowed four hits and struck out six in six shutout innings. … Binghamton center fielder Matt Den Dekker singled to lead off the game to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games.