It started out as a close game. Thunder starter Manny Banuelos did not allow a hit, although the B-Mets took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third thanks to a walk, a throwing error, a wild pitch and a fielder’s choice ground out.
Trenton tied the game in the bottom of the inning on a disputed home run by outfielder Jake Cave, and never looked back.
Banuelos was lifted after four innings, likely due to a pitch count target, and four Trenton relievers held the B-Mets’ offense in check over the final five innings.
Binghamton starter Rainy Lara ran into trouble in the fifth inning. He allowed a lead-off home run to Casey Stevenson, who is hitting just .196, then gave up back-to-back singles and a sacrifice fly that put Trenton ahead 3-1. A double play allowed Lara to escape further damage, but it looked like a good time to lift him from the game.
B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez opted to send Lara back to the mound to start the sixth, though. Maybe he wanted to see Lara respond to adversity, maybe he wanted to see Lara extend his pitch count, or maybe he just didn’t have enough rested relievers in his bullpen. All I can say is that it didn’t work out. Lara gave up four more runs, with the knockout blow coming on Cave’s two RBI triple.
Trenton and Binghamton split the series, with each team winning two games.
I was able to add a few more autographs to my collection – I really want to compliment the Binghamton Mets for being one of the nicest teams I’ve seen over the past few years. I didn’t see a single player turn down an autograph request, and quite a few made an extra effort to make sure they got to every fan who wanted a few seconds of their time for a signature or a photo.
I also ran into Brooklyn’s “Cowbell Guy,” who made a field trip to the game since his Brooklyn Cyclones were on the road.