BINGHAMTON, NY - The Binghamton Mets racked up 15 strikeouts and used a dozen hits to defeat the Akron RubberDucks, 5-4, on Sunday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium. Starter Hansel Robles struck out eight in his Double-A debut and three B-Mets collected multiple hits in the victory.
For the third time in four games, the B-Mets struck in the first inning. Kevin Plawecki started the rally with a two-out single off Akron starter Will Roberts. Matt Clark brought him home by yanking a double down the right field line, producing his second RBI of the season.
Plawecki kicked off another two-out rally in the third by legging out an infield single to short. Clark set the table for Binghamton's second run by dumping a single to shallow right. With runners at the corners, Jayce Boyd sent a routine grounder to Giovanny Urshela at third. The roller squeaked through his legs and rolled into left, allowing Plawecki to come home.
Robles preserved the lead over five dominant innings. The right-hander faced just three over the minimum while fanning eight batters. He allowed just two hits, walked one and saw just one runner reach third base in his time on the hill.
The RubberDucks (2-2) erased the two-run lead against the B-Mets bullpen in the sixth. Jack Leathersich took the reins on the mound, but allowed two men to reach. Jake Lowery ripped a two-run, two-out double into the right field corner, knotting the game.
Binghamton responded quickly and caught a break in the bottom of the inning. Dustin Lawley set the stage by banging a double off the centerfield wall and taking third on a wild pitch. With two outs, Jordan Cooper entered from the pen and induced Travis Taijeron to bounce towards first. Ronny Rodriguez was set to make the play until the grounder kicked off the infield lip and ricocheted into right, allowing Lawley to score the go-ahead run.
Given a one-run lead, the B-Mets bullpen walked the tightrope in the seventh. Leathersich issued back-to-back one-out walks to the eight and nine hitters before giving way to TJ Chism. The southpaw used a groundout and strikeout to strand both runners. Chism and Chasen Bradford combined to keep the RubberDucks off the board in the eighth.
Binghamton tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth. Boyd launched an RBI double off the center field wall and Lawley dumped an RBI single into left to give the B-Mets a cushion of three runs.
They would need every single one. Bradford returned for the ninth, but fell into trouble after giving up consecutive singles to start the inning. Tyler Holt chipped in with a sacrifice fly and Francisco Lindor cut the lead to one with a two-out RBI single. With the tying run on second and go-ahead run on first, Bradford bounced back and struck out Rodriguez to secure the win.
Leathersich (1-0) allowed two runs on two hits and a pair of walks over 1-1/3 innings to pick up the win. Roberts (0-1) lasted 5-2/3 innings in the losing effort. Bradford earned his second save.
Clark led the offense with a three-hit day, including two doubles and an RBI. Lawley put together his first three-hit game of the season while also driving in his third run of the year.
The B-Mets (2-2) continue their season-opening homestand Monday night when they welcome in the Erie SeaWolves at 6:35 PM. RHP Greg Peavey takes the hill against RHP Wilsen Palacios. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame show begins at 6:20 PM.
POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton's 15 strikeouts were the most in a game since they fanned the same total on 5/30/13 against the Altoona Curve…in 2.1 innings, Jack Leathersich has struck out seven batters…Binghamton went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position
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