The Harrisburg Senators fell behind the Binghamton Mets early and were never able to recover in a 6-2 loss in front of 4,321 fans at FNB Field. The loss pushed the suddenly scuffling Senators to their third straight series loss and left them with a 63-57 record on the season.
“Right now, people are better than we are,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “What we did well at the beginning and a couple of weeks ago, we’re not doing anymore and teams are better. Somebody has to step up. If you don’t, you’re going to be looking at it from the wrong side of it and that’s unfortunate.”
“Binghamton is not in it, but they came in here and whupped our butt. They’re better than us despite what the records show. That’s the way I look at it, and the way they (the players) should look at it. If they don’t, they’ll have a hard time playing up there (in MLB). They should be challenging themselves every day no matter what. When I come to the park, I come to win. If you come to the park just thinking I need to get hits or I need to get outs, you’re going to suffer.”
Things went downhill quickly for Harrisburg starter Phillips Valdez as he walked the first two batters of the game, but managed to escape the first frame allowing only one run. Valdez (4-3) never really settled down though as the right-hander allowed four runs in four innings on four walks and six hits including two home runs.
“He set the tone,” LeCroy said about his starter. “Ball one, ball two, walks. Just a bad tone setter today. It’s unfortunate because I felt pretty good with him matching up with this team but he just didn’t throw it over.”
Former major leaguer Josh Zeid shut down the Senators for the first five innings, at one point retiring 11 straight batters before pinch-hitter Jose Marmolejos doubled to lead off the sixth. Stephen Perez would plate Marmolejos two batters later with an RBI fielder’s choice to get the Senators back within striking distance.
Harrisburg would cut the Binghamton lead to 5-2 an inning later as Spencer Kieboom singled home Shawn Pleffner from second base, but the Senators failed to score another run despite two baserunners and no outs.
John Simms worked two innings of scoreless relief for Harrisburg while Kieboom was the only Senator to reach base three times as the catcher recorded a couple of singles and a walk.
The Senators are off on Monday but return to FNB Field on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. to take on the Erie SeaWolves, Class AA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers). Harrisburg will start Erick Fedde opposed by Erie’s Tommy Collier. The Senators will host one of their Summer Reading Nights as kids can turn in their bookmark for a free ticket and take part in a pre-game parade. The game can be heard on Fox Sports 1460 AM, on the internet at senatorsbaseball.com, or through the TuneIn and iHeart Radio apps with The Matt LeCroy Show beginning the radio broadcast at 6:45 p.m.