BINGHAMTON, NY – The Trenton Thunder summoned former MLB All-Star closer Andrew Bailey out of the bullpen with two outs in the 8th inning and the tying and go-ahead runs on base, and he escaped the jam and tossed a scoreless 9th to secure a 3-2 victory over the Binghamton Mets.
Before 3,142 fans at NYSEG Stadium, the Thunder got a strong start from starting pitcher Kyle Haynes and chipped away at B-Mets starter Michael Fulmer to find themselves ahead 3-0 in the 5th.
Just two pitches into the ballgame, Danny Oh (2-for-4, 2 2B, R) lined a double in the right-centerfield gap to set the tone for the Thunder. After advancing to third base on an Ali Castillo groundout, Jake Cave rolled a grounder of his own to the right side of the infield to score Oh for the game’s first run. Trenton later added runs in the 4th inning when Gary Sanchez (2-for-4, 2B, R) scored on a Tony Renda groundout and Cito Culver (0-for-1, 2 BB, R) scored on a Castillo RBI single to centerfield.
Haynes tossed six scoreless innings on three hits before Binghamton’s Michael Conforto led-off the 7th inning with an opposite field homer to put the Mets on the board. Two batters later, Brandon Nimmo singled with one out to bring the tying run to the plate. It was at that point that Haynes was pulled from the game in favor of Cesar Vargas who induced an inning-ending doubleplay from All-Star Josh Rodriguez to end the inning. Haynes lowered his season ERA to 3.15 and improved to 2-6 with the Thunder.
Trenton improves to 51-40 on the season, marking the first time this year the team is at least 11 games above .500. With victories by Reading and New Hampshire, the Thunder remain 2.0 games ahead of the Fightins for first place in the East Division and 3.5 games clear of the Wild Card with Binghamton and New Hampshire in a tie for third place.
The Trenton Thunder and Binghamton Mets return to action Friday at NYSEG Stadium in the second game of a four-game series. The Thunder send Jaron Long (0-1, 1.50) to the mound against Binghamton RHP John Gant (3-4, 4.13) for the scheduled 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on 91.3 FM and online at www.trentonthunder.com.