Mapes Tosses Six Solid Innings in 6-0 Loss to Hartford
Three Hartford pitchers shut down the Harrisburg Senators’ offense on their way to a 6-0 series-clinching victory at FNB Field in front of 3,767 fans on Thursday night. The shutout was the third time the Senators (30-28) have been blanked this season.
Harrisburg starter Tyler Mapes endured a rough first inning as the third batter of the game, Pat Valaika, launched a two-run home run to give the Yard Goats the early lead. An infield single and two walks loaded the bases before Mapes worked out of the jam with two consecutive strikeouts.
“That’s the first time I’ve really seen him not have that much command of some pitches. I thought he battled and kept us in it,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “I thought he made some good adjustments to pitch out of the bases loaded situation.”
The 24-year-old Harrisburg right-hander settled down nicely after that and traded zeroes with Hartford starter Antonio Senzatela. Mapes (5-4) went six innings, allowing just those two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out five.
Hartford padded their lead with three runs off reliever Derek Self in the top of the seventh inning. A Raimel Tapia solo home run just inside the left-field foul pole and a Ryan McMahon triple just out of the reach of right-fielder Isaac Ballou accounted for the Yard Goats’ runs.
They tacked on another insurance run off Robert Benincasa when a wild pitch scooted by catcher Brian Jeroloman. Benincasa, who made his 2016 Senators debut with the appearance, struck out two in his return to City Island. Michael Brady worked around a walk to toss a scoreless top of the ninth for Harrisburg.
Harrisburg’s offense was dormant as they mustered only five singles off the bats of Shawn Pleffner twice, Chris Bostick, Difo, and Mapes for the game. The Senators loaded the bases in the final frame with two outs but couldn’t cash in on their first opportunity with a baserunner on third base.
The Senators welcome the first-place Akron RubberDucks to FNB Field for the series opener on Friday evening at 7:00 p.m. Lucas Giolito gets the ball looking for his fifth straight victory opposed by D.J. Brown for the ‘Ducks. 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.