Bullpen Struggles Sink Thunder Tuesday Night

By Spenser Smith / Trenton Thunder | August 20, 2019 10:12 PM

A two-run lead disappeared late Tuesday night for the Thunder, who saw the New Hampshire Fisher Cats plate seven runs over the final two innings in a 7-2 loss in front of a crowd of 7,244 at ARM & HAMMER Park.

With the Thunder (30-30, 68-58) leading, 2-0, reliever Brooks Kriske (1-2) opened the eighth inning by issuing a leadoff walk to New Hampshire's Vinny Capra. After striking out the next two batters, Kriske allowed an RBI-single to Brock Lundquist and an RBI-double to Nash Knight, tying the score. Christian Williams followed with a go-ahead RBI-triple before Kriske struck out Josh Palacios to end the inning.

The Fisher Cats (27-33, 58-69) sent nine men to the plate in the ninth, racking up four additional runs off Andrew Bellatti, getting a bases-loaded, three-run triple from Cullen Large and a sacrifice fly by Lundquist.

Lefty reliever Danny Young retired all six Thunder batters he faced over the final two innings, preserving the win for Yennsy Diaz (10-8), who had allowed a Max Burt sacrifice fly in the fifth and a Chris Gittens RBI-double off the center field wall in the sixth as the only two Thunder runs of the game.

The loss overshadowed a strong showing by the Thunder pitching staff through the first seven innings. Starter Rony Garcia overcame a 35-pitch first inning to strike out five batters across five frames, retiring the final eight men he faced. Trevor Lane provided an inning and two-thirds scoreless in relief before Kriske recorded a strikeout to finish off the seventh.

The defeat assured New Hampshire of the series victory, ending a season-high four-series winning streak for the Thunder.

Prior to the loss, the Thunder had gone 44-4 on the season when leading after seven innings.

Isiah Gilliam and Kyle Holder each recorded two hits for the Thunder, with the latter extending his hitting streak to 10 games.

Your Thunder conclude their homestand on Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. against the Fisher Cats. RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 8.44) will start for the Thunder, and RHP Justin Dillon (5-2, 3.40) will go for New Hampshire. Pregame coverage begins at 12:40 p.m. on 920 AM The Jersey or online at TrentonThunder.com/Broadcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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