Hartford, CT- Clutch hitting by Correlle Prime, Josh Fuentes and Brendan Rodgers, and stellar relief pitching by Matt Pierpont, paced the Hartford Yard Goats, who held on for an 8-7 win over the Portland Sea Dogs, before 5,963 fans at Dunkin' Donuts Park Monday afternoon. The Yard Goats earned a split of the four game series and a split of the eight game home stand.
Hartford nearly gave away an 8-3 lead, after Pierpont threw 2.1 innings of scoreless baseball to notch his fifth win in relief of starter Yency Almonte. The Hartford starter was pulled with two outs in the fifth inning, after serving up a game-tying three-run homer to Red Sox prospect Rafael Devers earlier in the inning. Portland scored four runs on five hits in the eighth inning against relievers Huascar Brazoban and Edison Frias. Run-scoring singles by Cole Sturgeon - who had four hits - Devers and Michael Chavis, and a run-scoring ground out by Henry Urrutia cut the Yard Goats lead to 8-7.
With Yard Goats closer Shane Broyles having been used in two straight games, manager Jerry Weinstein stuck with Frias, who pitched in and out of a bases loaded jam, getting Jeremy Barfield to ground out to Fuentes at third base to end the game. Portland left 15 men on base.
Hartford snapped a 3-3 tie with three runs in the sixth. Fuentes started the inning with a home run into the left field seats, his seventh homer of the season. A two-run single by Brendan Rodgers gave the Goats a 6-3 advantage. Hartford seemingly put the game away in the seventh inning, when Prime's RBI-single and a squeeze bunt by Anthony Phillips increased the advantage to 8-3.
Prime led the Yard Goats 12-hit attack with three hits and two RBI. Fuentes had two hits, including a home run and two RBI, while Dillon Thomas and Omar Carrizales each had two hits.
Sturgeon had four hits and an RBI, Devers two hits and four RBI, including a three-run homer and Josh Tobias two hits to lead a 13-hit Portland attack.
The Yard Goats open a six-game road trip on Tuesday night in Bowie, MD against the Baysox. The game can be heard on AM 1410 WPOP and on iHeart radio.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.