TRENTON – The Thunder used a season-high 13-hit attack and received 5 1/3 shutout innings on the mound from Ronald Herrera en route to a 4-0 rubber game victory over the Erie SeaWolves on Sunday afternoon at ARM & HAMMER Park to extend their Eastern League best mark to 14-8.
Herrera was activated off the disabled list on Sunday morning after missing the first month of the season after dealing with right shoulder inflammation for much of spring training. The 21-year old right-hander, who is slated to turn 22 on Wednesday, was added to the Yankees 40-man roster this past winter after he went 10-7 with a 3.75 ERA. One reason that the organization wanted to protect Herrera from the Rule 5 Draft was his impeccable control. In his first taste of Double-A action last season; Herrera walked just 35 in 132 innings for Trenton and in five professional seasons, the promising young pitcher has walked 139 batters over 557 2/3 innings pitched.
Both Herrera and SeaWolves starter Myles Jaye matched zeroes over the first three innings of action. It was in the fourth inning when Trenton drew first blood on an RBI single by first baseman Mike Ford. The Thunder would tack on a second run on an RBI single by second baseman Thairo Estrada to extend their lead to 2-0.
Meanwhile, Herrera worked quickly and efficiently through 5 1/3 scoreless innings before exiting with one out in the sixth innings after hitting the 87 pitch plateau; he allowed just three hits and walked one with four strikeouts on the afternoon.
Trenton tacked on two more runs in the sixth with another RBI single by Ford, who had three hits on the day, and sac-fly by right fielder Billy McKinney to put the Thunder ahead 4-0.
Relievers Colten Brewer and J.R. Graham combined to toss 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball to preserve the shutout and give Trenton their fifth win in their last six games.