TRENTON, NJ - The Thunder bounce back from Thursday's loss to beat the Portland Sea Dogs 3-1 Friday night at ARM & HAMMER Park.
Offense- like Thursday night- was at a premium for both teams in Friday's game. The Thunder used three early runs off Portland starter Matt Barnes to jump out to a 3-0 lead. With a run already home in the first inning, Trenton tacked on a pair of runs in the 4th inning thanks to a dribbler out in front of the plate by outfielder Mason Williams.
Ben Gamel was at third base and Reegie Corona was at first base with two outs when Williams dug-in against Barnes. Facing a 3-2 pitch, the Thunder centerfielder dribbled one out in front of the plate which Barnes pounced on with a bare-handed pickup. His throw to first base was wild and ended up in right field. With Corona off on the 3-2 pitch with two outs, he was able to come all the way around to score from first base as the ball trickled down the right field line.
Portland had an opportunity to draw closer in the ballgame in the top of the 5th inning, but Gamel and Yeral Sanchez threw two would-be runs out at the plate to keep Portland off the board and the score still 3-0 for the time being.
Thunder starting pitcher Scottie Allen went 5.1 innings and allowed one run on six hits while walking four. He earned the victory and is now 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA in three starts with the Thunder. Francisco Rondon earned the save for his third of the season, and he and Danny Burawa combined for 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Manager Tony Franklin.
Thanks to a loss by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Reading Friday night, Trenton's lead in the East Division Wild Card is 3.5 games over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and 5.0 over the Sea Dogs with 11 games remaining in the regular season.
The Thunder continue their four-game series and eight-game home stand against the Portland Sea Dogs Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Trenton sends RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 3.60) to the mound for his second career Double-A start against RHP Keith Couch (10-3, 3.55) for the Sea Dogs. Limited tickets available at www.trentonthunder.com/tickets or by calling (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.