July 20, 2011

Mets show Sea Dogs they're that much better

Hard-luck Binghamton makes the most of its chances as the Sea Dogs go just 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — This has been a trying season for both the Binghamton Mets and Portland Sea Dogs. They sport the two worst records in the Eastern League.

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Portland's starting pitcher Michael Lee makes a pitch early in the Sea Dogs' game with the Binghamton Mets at Hadlock Field. Lee took the loss, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits over three innings.

Photos by Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

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Portland's John Hee waves off the pitcher as he fields an infield hit and runs to first to put out a Binghamton runner Tuesday night at Hadlock Field. The series concludes with a noon start today.

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WHO: Sea Dogs (Brock Huntzinger 5-7) vs. Binghamton Mets (Robert Carson 2-8)

WHEN: Noon

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: About 1,000 available

Not surprisingly, Portland ranks last in pitching; Binghamton next-to-last.

But then you get a game like Tuesday's, when both teams were dealing early.

The Mets continued to pitch well and beat Portland 7-2, before 6,012 at Hadlock Field.

Tim Federowicz scored one run and singled the other in for Portland. Jeremy Hazelbaker tripled and doubled, but was stranded both times. The Sea Dogs were 2 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

Mets starter Brandon Moore (7-7) got the win, allowing six hits and one run over six innings. The bullpen gave up one more.

Moore now has only two wins since June 3, and both are against the Sea Dogs. In four starts against Portland, he's 3-0.

"He changed speeds well and he had a real good sinker," Mets Manager Wally Backman said. "He has two different breaking balls. When he throws them for strikes, he's pretty effective."

Michael Lee (1-5) got the start for the Sea Dogs, and the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits over three innings.

Lee had been sent to the bullpen two weeks ago, but returned to the rotation Tuesday, in place of injured Miguel Gonzalez (forearm inflammation).

Junichi Tazawa, on his comeback from Tommy John surgery, pitched four innings, allowing one run (double, sacrifice bunt, sacrifice fly).

Tazawa, hitting between 89 and 90 m.p.h, with his fastball, retired 10 batters at one point. He allowed a total of three hits and no walks, striking out two.

"In his first inning, he appeared to be a little over-excited, but he settled in nicely," Portland pitching coach Bob Kipper said. "You saw an improved fastball, an ability to pitch aggressively, down in the zone, on both halves of the plate."

Down 3-0, the Sea Dogs finally got one off Moore with back-to-back doubles by Federowicz and Oscar Tejeda in the sixth.

Portland reliever Kyle Fernandes gave up a single and double to begin the eighth. After a strikeout, intentional-walk and shallow fly out, it looked like Fernandes might escape.

But Brahiam Maldonado tripled to the right field corner, scoring three for a 6-1 lead, clinching the win.

Binghamton (39-58) moves one game ahead of Portland (37-58) in the standings. The teams finish their three-game series today at noon.


NOTES: Before the game, Mets minor league field coordinator Dickie Scott was inducted into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Scott, 49, was drafted out of Ellsworth High by the Yankees in 1981 and played pro ball for 10 years, reaching the majors briefly in 1989. Since 1990, Scott has been a scout, minor leaguer manager and farm director. Mets assistant to the general manager, J.P. Ricciardi, was also in attendance.

Chih-Hsien Chiang broke the Sea Dogs' career record for doubles with his 68th on Tuesday The Ryan Lavarnway Watch continues in Pawtucket. The former Sea Dogs catcher went 2 for 3 with a homer Tuesday, and is now batting .388 with 11 home runs in 32 Triple-A games. ...

A reminder that Congress Street inbound to St. John Street will be closed today because of work on the railway crossing.


Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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