(New Britain, CT) - Trevor May tossed six strong innings and New Britain scored six unanswered runs to build big lead as the Rock Cats defeated the Trenton Thunder, 6-4, in the second of a three-game series Tuesday night at New Britain Stadium. The Thunder have dropped five of their last six games.
The loss, coupled with a New Hampshire win at Portland, means the Thunder's (66-62) lead for the Eastern Division Wild Card spot fell to 2.5 games over the third-place Fisher Cats (63-64) with 14 games remaining in the regular season. Portland (61-67) remained 5.0 games back in fourth.
After Kyle Roller's two-run home run (15) put Trenton ahead 2-0, New Britain reached Thunder starter Mikey O'Brien (7-7) for three runs in the first and two more in the second. Miguel Sano's two-run first-inning double tied the score, and Evan Bigley's sac fly made it 3-2 Rock Cats.
Reynaldo Rodriguez led off the second against O'Brien with his league-leading 21st home run of the season, a shot just inside the left-field foul pole. Brad Boyer's single later in the inning made the score 5-2. New Britain, which added a run in the sixth, would collect only two more hits the rest of the night.
May (8-9) held the Thunder to just two hits and two runs while recording four strikeouts. Trenton scored twice against reliever Cole Johnson to draw within 6-4, with Mason Williams' RBI single in the seventh and Yeral Sanchez's RBI groundout in the eighth doing the damage.
Closer Dakota Watts closed the door in the ninth, pitching around a one-out triple from Williams by inducing routine fly outs from Ramon Flores and Gary Sanchez.
The finale of the series is slated for a 7:05 pm first pitch on Wednesday as Trenton tries to avoid a 1-5 road trip. Thunder right-hander Shane Greene (6-3, 3.45) will get the ball for manager Tony Franklin while righty Cole De Vries (0-2, 2.70) will start for New Britain. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.