BINGHAMTON, NY – The Trenton Thunder (29-24) used a three-run 7th inning off Major League rehabbing Bobby Parnell to turn a deficit into a second-straight 6-4 win over the Binghamton Mets (26-26).
Trailing 4-3 entering the top of the 7th inning, the Thunder overcame a deficit for just the third time this season. Trenton, which had previously been 2-16 when trailing after 6 innings this season, rallied for three runs. The inning began with a single to Danny Oh and a walk to Cito Culver to put runners on first and second for Mark Payton. In his first at-bat of the night, Payton- who entered for Jake Cave as a defensive replacement in the 6th inning- hit a high fly ball to right field that Jared King never saw. It landed behind him on the warning track and hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double to tie the game and put runners at second and third with still no outs. The double was the first Double-A hit for Payton who went 0-for-3 in his Double-A debut last night.
The next batter was Ali Castillo who was retired without being able to score a run, and Aaron Judge followed with a walk to load the bases. Eric Jagielo hit a sac fly and Gary Sanchez followed with a single to provide the two runs needed in Trenton’s two-run victory.
Down the stretch, Alex Smith tossed 2.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen after entering for starting pitcher Miguel Sulbaran with one out in the bottom of the 6th inning. Sulbaran allowed 8+ hits for the third consecutive start and exited with the team trailing 4-3 on four earned runs. Smith promptly induced a double play from the first batter he faced before posting a scoreless 7th and 8th inning as well. The Thunder righty has allowed just six hits and one run over his last 13.0 innings which has lowered his season ERA to 2.38.
Mark Montgomery, entering in his first appearance since being transferred back to the Thunder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, tossed a perfect 9th inning to secure the win and notch his 6th save in 6 opportunities this season with Trenton.
The Thunder improve to five games above .500 for the first time this season after rattling off a fourth-straight win. They look for a second five-game win streak this season Thursday night and try to maintain a lead on the Wild Card spot in the East Division after leap-frogging Reading which dropped their game 2-1 vs. Erie.
The Thunder and Mets return to action with the finale of their three-game series Thursday with a scheduled 6:35 p.m. first pitch. Though Trenton has not swept a game this season, they send LHP Caleb Smith (2-3, 5.03) is expected to start for the Thunder against RHP Luis Cessa (4-3, 3.09) for the Mets. Pre-game coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on 91.3 FM WTSR and www.trentonthunder.com.