By virtue of their 5-3 win on Sunday, The Binghamton Mets took two of three from the first place New Hampshire Fisher Cats and moved to within a game of the top spot in the Eastern League East standings.
Dylan Owen came up big for the B-Mets as he started in place of Eric Niesen, who is still on the disabled list with a concussion. Owen (2-1) allowed a run on three hits over six innings of work, on a frigid day at NYSEG Stadium. Two of those hits came in the second inning and the third did not come until the sixth.
The Binghamton offense struck first with a two-run second inning. With two men already gone in the frame, Carlos Guzman singled to center. Jonathan Malo and Hector Pellot followed with RBI doubles, to give the home team an early lead. Pellot got to third on a balk, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out to end the inning.
The B-Mets (18-12) were given a gift run in the fourth, thanks to New Hampshire starter Luis Perez’s miscue. First baseman David Cooper fielded a ball hit by Hubbard and Perez went over to first but was unable to handle the toss from Cooper.
Hubbard stole second and went to third on a Carlos Guzman ground ball to Perez, who went for the sure out at first. Hubbard was plated when Pellot singled to center.
Pellot, hitting ninth in the B-Mets lineup Sunday, had two hits and two RBI’s in his first two at-bats and Binghamton led 3-0.
The high-powered Fisher Cats offense, has not been held down very much in the early going and you knew they had a rally in them on Sunday.
Darin Mastroianni led off with a scorching triple to the right field gap. He came home on a sac fly by Adam Calderone, to make it a two run game. Eric Thames followed and was hit by Owen, but the Binghamton hurler battled back to get Brad Emaus to fly out and send Cooper down swinging to end the inning.
“Great start,” said B-Mets manager Tim Teufel of Owen’s performance. “The conditions weren’t favorable for anything out there today. “Owen really stepped up to the plate and did a great job of throwing strikes. He had his slider working and a decent change-up. Underneath these conditions, that’s Yeoman’s work.”
Josh Stinson came in for Owen in the seventh and gave up a one-out single to Adam Loewen, but got out of further trouble when Jonathan Diaz bounced into a twin-killing.
The B-Mets struck in the eighth inning, again doing all the damage with two outs. Lucas Duda and Nick Evans were struck out by Fisher Cats reliever Tim Collins to start the inning, but Hubbard touched ’em all when he sent a 3-2 offering over the wall in right field, to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.
Mike Nickeas and Carlos Guzman drew back-to-back walks following the homer and Malo singled to score Nickeas and give Binghamton a 5-1 lead.
Turns out, Binghamton needed those insurance runs, as Stinson got into trouble in the top of the ninth. Cooper doubled with one out and Shawn Bowman drew a walk. Loewen followed with a single to load the bases for New Hampshire. (19-11). Teufel sent Stinson to the clubhouse, in favor of Jose De La Torre.
De La Torre has struggled recently and he promptly gave up a 2-run single to Diaz to make it 5-3, but got the next two hitters to ground out and give the B-Mets a big victory.
“He always wants the ball and he made mention of what he learned from his last two outings,” said Teufel of his right-handed reliever. “He understood he was trying to be a little too fine and that he just needs to use his stuff and trust it and that’s what he did today.”
The offense came in large part from the bottom third of the order in Guzman, Malo and Pellot. Something Teufel was glad to see.
“They had a great day. Sometimes ya spread it around a little bit, the wealth,” he said. Some days the bottom of the order has to pull a little bit of the load and that’s what we did today.”
For more info: New Hampshire @ Binghamton Boxscore
Injury News: Catcher Omir Santos was a late scratch from the lineup Sunday. He strained something in his side, as he turned the wrong way. Shortstop Luis Hernandez got a “little tweak and is day-to-day, according to Teufel. It is not expected to be long-term, but he was kept out of the last couple games.