ALTOONA, PA - A late rally by the Binghamton Mets fell short in an 8-5 loss to the Altoona Curve on Thursday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The B-Mets brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but came up empty in the rubber-match defeat. Binghamton stranded six runners on base over the final three innings, securing their third straight road series loss.
Altoona's offense was alive and well in the first inning against Angel Cuan. Alen Hanson started a stretch of three consecutive hits by lacing a double to left. Kevin Broxton followed by zipping another two-bagger down the right-field line, plating Hanson with the Curve's first run. Elias Diaz capped the streak by depositing an RBI single to left. Keon Broxton added to Altoona's lead with a run-producing fielder's choice with the bases loaded in the second.
Binghamton used a two-out rally to get on the board in the third. Kyle Johnson opened the attack by punching a double down the right-field line. Matt Reynolds brought him home by threading a single inside the first base bag. Kevin Plawecki capped the scoring by hammering an RBI double to left.
With their lead trimmed to one, the Curve separated from the B-Mets with four runs on three hits and a costly error in the third. Following a leadoff single by Stetson Allie and a double by Gift Ngoepe, Jarek Cunningham was walked intentionally. The plan backfired when Drew Maggi rolled a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line. A throwing error by third baseman Dustin Lawley on Alen Hanson's roller allowed two more runs to score, giving the Curve a 7-2 advantage.
Sampson shook off Binghamton's brief third-inning outburst and capped his night with three scoreless innings, retiring nine of the final eleven batters he faced.
Binghamton finally got rolling against reliever Joan Montero in the eighth thanks to a shaky stretch of Curve defense. With Reynolds on first, Alen Hanson booted a chopper to short. Matt Clark followed with a roller to third. The grounder eluded Jarek Cunningham for an error, allowing a run to score. Darrell Ceciliani laced an RBI single to left and Rylan Sandoval topped the three-run inning with an RBI groundout.
The B-Mets threatened again in the ninth thanks to another error by Hanson. The shortstop bobbled Johnson's groundball and Plawecki reached on a walk by Ryan Beckman. With the tying run at the plate, the righty retired Clark on a fly out and struck out Dustin Lawley looking to notch his third save of the season.
Cuan (1-3) was tagged for seven runs (four earned) on eight hits over three innings, his shortest outing of the season. Sampson (4-3) struck out seven while allowing two runs over six innings to end a seven-game winless stretch. Jon Velasquez allowed a run during his two innings of relief for Binghamton.
The B-Mets (31-27) return home to open a three-game series against the New Britain Rock Cats on Friday night at 7:05 PM. RHP Matt Bowman takes the mound against RHP Virgil Vasquez. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show, starting at 6:50 PM, can be heard on News Radio 1290 WNBF and on the Binghamton Mets Baseball Network via the TuneIn App.
POSTGAME NOTES: Matt Reynolds went 10-for-16 in the series and raised his batting average to .371, the highest mark in Double-A…TJ Chism returned from the disabled list and threw a scoreless inning…the B-Mets have lost 10 of their last 11 road games
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