HARTFORD- New York Mets pitching prospect and UConn alum Anthony Kay and three relievers combined to pitch Binghamton to a 1-0 win over the Hartford Yard Goats Saturday night, before a sellout crowd of 6,850. It was the 17th sellout of the season at Dunkin' Donuts Park. Hartford now leads the Eastern League in attendance with 165,251.
Binghamton (32-24) pulled to within one game of Hartford (35-25) in the tight four-team Eastern Division race. The Yard Goats have eight games remaining in the first half, split-season. It was Hartford's third 1-0 loss of the year.
Kay, selected in the first round of the 2016 draft, retired the first 10 batters he faced, before pitching out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth, getting a fly out to left, following a walk, line out and singles by Alan Trejo and Willie Abreu. The southpaw gave up a lead off double to Brian Serven in the fifth, before retiring the next three batters to get out of the jam. He was lifted, after surrendering a one-out walk in the sixth. Kay pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering three hits. He walked two and struck out nine in registering his seventh win (7-3), tying him with Hartford's Rico Garcia for the league lead in victories.
Rumble Ponies relievers Adonis Uceta, Ryley Gilliam and Matt Blackham combined to retire all 11 batters they faced, Blackham striking out the last two Hartford batters for his fifth save.
Yard Goats starter Ty Culbreth turned in solid performance, allowing one unearned run in five innings. He permitted two hits, one walk and struck out five, including striking out the side in the first inning. Relievers Jordan Foley, Mitch Horacek and Alexander Guillen combined to shut out the Rumble Ponies.
Binghamton scored in the fourth inning against the normally sure-fielding Hartford defense. Culbreth hit Barrett Barnes with a pitch with one out. Barnes moved to second on a ground out and took third on an errant pick-off throw by Culbreth. An error by third baseman Colton Welker on a ground ball by Mike Paez, enabled Barnes to score the game's only run.
The deciding game of the three-game series and the finale of the home stand is Sunday afternoon at 1:05. RHP Rico Garcia goes for his 8th victory for Hartford. Binghamton has yet to announce its starter. The game will be broadcast on News Radio 1410 AM, on 100.9 FM, in Spanish on 1120 AM and on the Internet on newsradio1410.iheart.com and on MiLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.