It’s Miller Time…Again

(PR) Newark, NJ – Josh Miller dialed in his sixth quality start of the season, throwing 7.0 innings of two-run baseball and the offense put together a dozen hits as the Somerset Patriots defeated the Newark Bears 8-2 on Sunday night, taking the series from their cross-state rivals at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium.

After the Patriots gave him a three-run edge after the top of the third, Miller (4-2) would be hit for a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. After that, the right-hander sparkled allowing just two hits the rest of the way. Miller finished with four strikeouts, scattering seven hits, ending his night with a flourish retiring the last seven men he faced. Brian Henderson pitched a perfect eighth and after Carlos Hines worked into trouble, Jerry Dunn finished off the ninth to close out the game.

With a one-run lead, Michael Hernandez extended the advantage in the top of the fourth off of Newark starter Paul Fagan. Hernandez homered for the second consecutive night, going the opposite way into the right-center field gap, giving the Patriots a 4-2 lead. Somerset added another run in the fifth when Noah Hall singled home Iggy Suarez. Fagan (3-3) closed out 6.0 innings, allowing five runs, four earned, walking four and allowing six hits.

Hernandez notched a pair of base hits, including an eighth inning double, part of a three-run frame which put the final touches on the series win. Suarez doubled home a run in the inning and newly signed Zach Smithlin knocked home his first two Somerset RBIs on a single. Smithlin had two base hits in his Patriot debut while Hall also drove in two runs.

The first-place Patriots (20-14) now open up a quick home-and-home series with the second-place York Revolution (20-16). Tom Mastny (2-1, 3.96) and Corey Thurman (4-0, 3.48) will square off in the opener on Memorial Day Monday. Coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. from TD Bank Ballpark on WCTC-AM and online at http://www.wctcam.com and http://www.somersetpatriots.com. The Patriots will feature $1 hot dogs all game long and one lucky family will win a vacation courtesy of Star 99.1 FM.

NOTES: Hall extended his hit streak to six-games, driving in two runs for the second straight night…Hernandez, after his home run on Saturday night which snapped a 116 inning drought for the Patriots, homered for the second time in 10 innings…Matt Hagen also picked up an RBI, his fifth straight game with at least one…David Housel drove in his second run of the season, both coming in the last two games…before the game, Joe Holden, who was injured in Saturday’s game, was placed on the disabled list while Smithlin and former Patriot Vito Chiaravalloti were signed. Chiaravalloti pinch-hit for Hernandez in the ninth and struck out.

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