HARTFORD- Jack Wynkoop turned in a quality start and Colton Welker slugged a three-run homer to lift the Hartford Yard Goats to a 9-3 win over the Trenton Thunder Thursday night, before 6,197 at Dunkin' Donuts Park. It was the 15th sellout crowd of the season and the earliest the Yard Goats have surpassed the 150,000 mark in season attendance. Hartford has drawn 151,551 in 27 dates.
Hartford (34-24) took two out of three from the first-place Yankees' affiliate and moved into sole possession of second place, 1/2 game out. in the Eastern Division. The Yard Goats have 10 games remaining in the first half of the Eastern League's split-season format.
Wynkoop evened his record at 5-5, by turning in his second-straight quality start. The veteran southpaw shutout Trenton (33-22) through six innings, before surrendering three runs in the seventh on back-to-back home runs by Mandy Alvarez and Kyle Holder. He struck out a season-high seven, did not allow a walk and scattered six hits.
The Yard Goats broke open the game with five runs in the second inning against pitching prospect Albert Abreu, who is on the Yankees' 40-man roster. After Bret Boswell opened the inning with a walk, Mylz Jones reached base, when second baseman Wendell Rijo bobbled a sure double-play grounder. After a fielder's choice, Chris Rabago knocked in a run with double into the left-field corner. Manny Melendez' RBI-ground out added to the lead, and after Tyler Nevin walked, Welker launched his three-run shot into the left-center field seats, his sixth home run of the season and second in the series. All the runs were unearned. Hartford padded the lead with home runs by Alan Trejo and Nevin and run-scoring singles by Scott Burcham and Nevin.
Welker had a home run, single and three RBI, Nevin a homer, single and two RBI and Willie Abreu a double, two singles and run scored to lead Hartford's 12-hit attack.
Abreu, who suffered the loss for Trenton, lasted three innings, allowing six runs, one earned, on six hits, two walks and two strike outs.
Hartford opens a three-game series against the Mets' affiliate, Binghamton, Friday night at 7:05 at Dunkin' Donuts Park. RHP Brandon Gold will pitch for the Yard Goats, while RHP Harol Gonzalez goes for the Rumble Ponies. (Highly-touted Mets' pitching prospect Anthony Kay, a left-hander, will pitch for Binghamton on Saturday.) 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.