Trenton Thunder clinch Wild Card berthYankees Double-A affiliate sweeps doubleheader to earn playoff spot
In Game 1, Trenton got a shutout by Shane Greene to secure an 8-0 win and the Wild Card bid. Greene gave up just three hits and one walk while fanning five Sea Dogs. He moved to 8-4 with the win and lowered his ERA to 3.18 in 14 appearances and 13 starts since his promotion from Single-A Tampa. Greene induced the final out of the game on a Deven Marrero groundball to second base.
Offensively in Game 1, the Thunder jumped on Portland starting pitcher Mickey Pena and had five runs already on the board with one out in the third inning. After Ramon Flores' run-scoring triple gave Trenton a 3-0 lead, Jose Pirela launched a homer, his 10th of the season.
In Game 2, lefty Caleb Smith, a 14th-round selection in this year's MLB draft, was promoted from Short-Season Single-A Staten Island to make his first Double-A appearance. Smith impressed, allowing one run allowed over 3 2/3 innings before being lifted for Pat Venditte who earned his first win with the Thunder this season.
Smith had a two-run lead in the first inning before he took the mound thanks to a two-out, two-run homer by Kyle Roller-his team-leading 17th of the season. Trenton added a pair of runs in the third inning on doubles by Francisco Arcia, Flores and Pirela to make it 4-0 Thunder. Danny Burawa pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning for the save.
Trenton continues its final regular season series, Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hadlock Field against Portland. Lefty Nik Turley (10-8, 3.90) will pitch for the Thunder against fellow left-hander Henry Owens (3-0, 1.09) for Portland.