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Binghamton's Pill unlikely hero with bat
Mets pitching prospect plates four runs, falls triple short of cycle
06/20/2014 12:35 AM ET
Tyler Pill had one hit in six career Minor League at-bats prior to Thursday. (Rick Nelson/MiLB.com)

Tyler Pill managed to give both his teammates and the opposition a jolt Thursday.

The Mets right-handed prospect gave up four hits over eight innings while homering and driving in four runs at the plate as Double-A Binghamton blanked Richmond, 6-0.

Pill finished 3-for-3, falling a triple short of the cycle. The 24-year-old was pinch-hit for in the eighth inning, unaware he was on the verge of a historical achievement.

"I actually didn't even know I needed a triple," said Pill, who bats left-handed. "It didn't really matter. It was a lefty throwing, so I was like, 'Let's have the right-handed hitters take care of it' anyway."

Pill (5-5) got the scoring started in the home half of the third, hitting a solo homer over the right-field wall of NYSEG Stadium. The long ball drew a surprised response from his teammates when he returned to the dugout.

"After the home run I got a lot of 'aahs,' kind of like 'What just happened?' with puzzled looks on their faces," Pill said. 

After singling in the fifth, Pill broke the game open with a bases-clearing double. By that point, his teammates had adjusted to their new hitting star.

"After the third hit, they were just like, 'We're over you. What are you doing getting three hits?'" Pill said.

The California native entered Thursday's contest 1-for-6 lifetime at the plate, with all six at-bats coming in the Eastern League this year. While hitting is nothing new to Pill, who was a two-way player for Cal State Fullerton, it's been over three years since he saw any consistent time in the batter's box, making his performance extra special.

"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit," said the fourth-round pick by the Mets in 2011. "When I got it, I just put a good swing on it. College seems like it was so long ago. It was really fun. I wish every night was like this."

Pill also made sure to keep the Flying Squirrels off the board as well. The 6-foot-1 hurler set a season high with nine strikeouts while not issuing a walk. Pill set down 12 in a row at one point, a stretch that ended when Kelby Tomlinson singled with one out in the eighth.

"Just throwing strikes, trying to get ahead," said Pill, who cited his curveball as the strikeout pitch. "Mixing my pitches up, let the defense do its job and when I got to two strikes, just put them away.

"I was going up there throwing and going up there swinging," he said. "I just feel great right now, a great night overall."

Adam Kolarek struck out two and gave up a hit in the ninth for the Mets.

Brandon Nimmo, the Mets' No. 4 prospect, walked twice and scored a run while Dilson Herrera, the club's No. 9 prospect, singled twice as both players made their Double-A debuts for Binghamton.

Kyle Crick, the Giants' top prospect, fell to 4-3 after giving up two runs on four hits and striking out seven over 4 2/3 innings for Richmond.

Robert Emrich is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @RobertEmrich. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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