Sea Dogs second baseman Sean Coyle said he would work with Cuban defector Rusney Castillo in the batting cage Saturday morning.

Not on his hitting – Castillo sprayed three line drives and drove in a run as the Sea Dogs beat the Binghamton Mets 6-3 Friday night in Game 3 of their Eastern Division Championship Series before a crowd of 5,034 at Hadlock Field.

The victory gave the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five series. Because of expected stormy weather Saturday night, the start of Game 4 has been moved up six hours to noon Saturday, with gates to open at 10:30 a.m.

Nor did Coyle school Castillo on his base-running – Castillo raced home from second base with the tie-breaking run after Coyle grounded a single through the shortstop hole in the seventh inning.

And not on his interaction with the hometown fans – in his Hadlock debut, Castillo lingered by the home dugout to sign autographs after the game.

No, where Castillo seemed a bit rusty was his three-fingered salute, a trademark of this Sea Dogs club since an early-season viewing on the team bus of “The Hunger Games.”

Players who hit a double, a triple or drive in a run are expected to return the salute from their teammates in the dugout and the bullpen.

“I think he may have thrown these three fingers out,” said Coyle, holding up his middle, ring and pinky fingers instead of the middle three, a la Hunger Games protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

“But we’ll work on that (Saturday). We’ll get his swing down and then we’ll get the three-fingered salute down, too.”

Castillo, who signed a $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox two weeks ago, joined the Sea Dogs on Wednesday in Binghamton for the first two games of the series.

On Friday, he hit three line drives and walked once. The first liner was caught in center. The second was an opposite-field double in the fifth to score Heiker Meneses (double) and give the Sea Dogs a 2-0 lead. Castillo then sped home on a single up the middle by Mike Miller to make it 3-0.

Castillo reached third at about the same time charging Binghamton left fielder Brandon Nimmo reached the ball. Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon, coaching third, waved Castillo onward.

Late in a tie game, McMillon said he would have sent a slower runner.

“A good throw is going to have to get him,” said McMillon. “Once he rounded third, he shifted another gear and got to home plate really quickly.”

Nimmo’s hurried throw was off target, and both Miller and Coyle advanced a base on the play. Carson Blair followed with a single deep in the shortstop hole to score Miller and Coyle followed to make it 6-3 when the throw to first sailed high.

Sea Dogs starter Eduardo Rodriguez, a left-hander acquired July 31 from Baltimore in the Andrew Miller trade, retired the first nine batters and faced the minimum 15 through five innings.

Binghamton catcher Xorge Carillo broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out double off the wall in left.

Binghamton tied the game at 3 in the seventh on a two-out double by Travis Taijeron that kicked around in the left field corner long enough for Darrell Ceciliani to score from first base.


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