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B-Mets avoid sweep, beat Thunder 3-1

TRENTON, NJ  Cesar Puello launched two home runs and Logan Verrett struck out nine over 8-2/3 innings to lead the Binghamton Mets past the Trenton Thunder in a 3-1 win Wednesday night at Arm & Hammer Park. Jeff Walters retired the only man he faced in the ninth to help the B-Mets end a two-game losing skid.

For the second straight night, Puello blasted the B-Mets to an early lead. With a runner aboard, Puello launched Nik Turleys 2-2 offering beyond the outfield fence in right-centerfield, giving Binghamton a 2-0 advantage. Puellos third homer of the season extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active throughout Double-A.

Verrett ably handled the Thunder through the first three innings before running into his first jam in the fourth. Tyler Austin led off with a double and scored when J.R. Murphy bounced a single up the middle. With the tying run on base, Verrett induced Kyle Roller to bounce into a 3-6-3 double play to end the threat.

Puello continued his stellar series against the Thunder in the fifth. After fouling off four pitches with two strikes, he launched an 0-2 pitch deep to left field, clearing the 25-foot wall of advertising positioned behind the fence. Puellos solo round-tripper gave Binghamton a 3-1 lead.

After minimizing the damage in the fourth, Verrett cruised through his next four innings. The righty retired 14 of 15 batters and took a two-run lead into the ninth.

Verretts bid for his third career complete game got off to rocky start. Jose Pirela started the inning with a double, but was caught advancing to third when Tyler Austin sent a chopper back to the mound. Verrett put the tying run aboard by walking Murphy, but induced Kyle Roller to fly out to center after a lengthy visit from manager Pedro Lopez.

After Rollers long out, Lopez called upon B-Mets closer Jeff Walters with runners at the corners. Reegie Corona worked a full count before flying out to right to end the game, securing Walters league-leading ninth save.

Verrett (5-1) allowed one run on five hits over 8-2/3 innings, the longest start for any B-Met this season. He finished one shy of a career-high with ten strikeouts. Turley (3-2) surrendered three runs on five hits over five innings in the losing effort.

(Courtesy Binghamton Mets)

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