Thursday, December 5, 2013
PORTLAND — Stolmy Pimentel delivered a 95 mph high fastball. Seemed like a good pitch for a strikeout on a 1-2 count.
Jackie Bradley Jr. of the Portland Sea Dogs slides safely across the plate Friday night, scoring before New Hampshire catcher Joel Galarraga can apply the tag in the third inning of the Sea Dogs’ 9-3 victory.
Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
WHO: Sea Dogs (Chris Hernandez 4-6) vs. Trenton Thunder (Dellin Betances 0-0)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 500 available
But New Hampshire’s leadoff batter Ryan Goins swatted it into the Sea Dogs’ bullpen for a 1-0 lead after one batter Friday night.
What was Pimentel going to do?
“You have to continue the game,” Pimentel said, stating the obvious. “I wasn’t thinking about it.”
Pimentel’s convenient memory worked well for him as he bore down for a quality start in a 9-3 Portland win over the Fisher Cats before 5,007 at Hadlock Field.
Left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker enjoyed a 3-for-4 night with a pair of two-run doubles. Jackie Bradley Jr. recorded two RBI.
The Sea Dogs (33-46) broke open a close game with five runs in the eighth.
Pimentel (2-4) got his first win since May 9, allowing four hits and three runs over six innings.
Pimentel, 22, put in one of his finest outings, walking only one and striking out four. The fastball hit 96 mph, the slider kept New Hampshire off balance and the change-up was working.
“The hitter has to swing when you’re in the strike zone with all your pitches,” Pimentel said. “And that’s good.”
After the leadoff home run, Pimentel was anything but shaken up. He retired the next 10 batters.
“He didn’t let it affect him,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. “He settled in and just kept attacking the zone.”
Portland broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth. Marquez Smith doubled and eventually scored when Derrik Gibson beat out an infield single for the game-winning RBI.
Hazelbaker highlighted rallies in the third and eighth with his doubles. He also had a bunt single and a stolen base. He’s batting .275 in June with five doubles, five home runs and 19 RBI.
“He has a lot to offer,” Boles said. “He uses his speed. And he can drive the ball into the gaps or over the fence.”
Two former starters, Chris Balcom-Miller and Brock Huntzinger, finished the game for Pimentel. Balcom-Miller struck out two in two innings, and Huntzinger had a 1-2-3 ninth.
Since moving to the bullpen, Huntzinger has a 2.90 ERA in 17 outings and opponents are hitting .191 against him.
NOTES: One of the Yankees’ top pitching prospects, Dellin Betances, is scheduled to start for the Trenton Thunder tonight against the Sea Dogs. Betances, who made his major league debut last year, had a 6.39 ERA in Triple-A this season until being sent to Double-A this week.… Shawn Thornton of the Boston Bruins will make an appearance before tonight’s game and sign autographs (one reason a dwindling number of tickets remain).… The Sea Dogs will be on the road July 4, so their fireworks show will be after the July 3 game. Only 500 tickets remain.… In his first at-bat with the Altoona Curve on Friday, former Sea Dogs outfielder Oscar Tejeda homered.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: