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Close, but no cigar as B-Mets drop rubber game

BINGHAMTON, NY – The Binghamton Mets left eight on base in their 5-4 loss to the Portland Sea Dogs Monday night at NYSEG Stadium. The B-Mets stranded the tying run in scoring position in the seventh and eighth, and left another man on in the ninth. Binghamton went 2-for-19 with men in scoring position in their last two losses, pushing their series winless streak to five.

Marco Hernandez led off the game with a hit for the second straight night, coming around to score both times. He commenced Robert Gsellman’s outing with a triple to center, scoring on a Reed Gragnani groundout one batter later. Portland scored first in all three games of the series.

The B-Mets drew even in the home half of the second, when a Carlos Asuaje error at third put the leadoff man on. After a Brandon Nimmo double put two in scoring position, Josh Rodriguez drove in Brock Peterson with a single to left. The rally would be cut off, as B-Mets stranded men on the corners.

Gsellman’s fourth inning began with back-to-back singles. After the two men were sacrificed into scoring position, Portland regained the lead on a Manuel Margot single to left. After an intentional walk to load the bases, Jake Romanski lined his own RBI single into left field. Cole Sturgeon then capped off the three-run frame with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Binghamton drew closer in the home half, when Josh Rodriguez doubled to center with two outs in the inning. Dustin Lawley followed by launching his fifth home run to left, cutting the deficit to one.

Portland would use their own long ball in the sixth inning, when Jake Romanski drove a pitch beyond the left field fence for a two-out homer. It was Romanski’s first since last August, and the Sea Dogs first in eight games.

Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, Luis Diaz allowed back-to-back singles to start the frame, before giving way to the pen. Lefty Robby Scott came on and induced a foul pop up from Gavin Cecchini for out number one. Scott proceeded to strike out LJ Mazzilli for out number two, before a balk pushed the tying runs into scoring position. Scott kept his cool and fanned Michael Conforto to escape the jam.

The southpaw stayed on for the eighth inning, walking Peterson to begin the frame. With two outs, Lawley sent a double to center field, driving in Peterson. Nine of Lawley’s 23 RBI have come against Portland. Representing the tying run, Lawley was left at second when Scott got pinch-hitter Aderlin Rodriguez to fly to center.

John Cornely came on for the ninth inning, attempting to lock down the first Portland save in 18 games. Cornely walked Mazzili with two outs, putting the tying run on-base, before getting Conforto to ground out to second, ending the threat.

Diaz (1-7) earned his first win in over a year, allowing five runs in six innings. Gesllman (2-5) was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs and a season-high nine hits in six innings pitched.

The B-Mets (41-41) welcome in the New Britain Rock Cats for a three game series that begins Tuesday night at 6:35 PM. RHP Seth Lugo gets the ball against RHP Brett Marshall. The Horizons Federal Credit Union Pregame Show can be heard starting at 6:20 PM on Newsradio 1290 WNBF and the Binghamton Mets channel on TuneIn.

POSTGAME NOTES: Binghamton is 0-4-1 in their last five series…Portland ended the season 6-4 at NYSEG Stadium, but are 0-6 against the B-Mets at home…Beck Wheeler has not allowed a hit since June 14th.

Be sure to follow the B-Mets on their official website (www.bmets.com) or on Facebook, Twitter (@bmets) and Snapchat (binghamtonmets). Fans can also stay up to date with all the action on the field by visiting “B-Mets Buzz” at bmets.mlblogs.com or following Tim Heiman (@TimHeiman) on Twitter.

(Courtesy: Binghamton Mets Baseball)