Uceta throws another gem, Ogden Raptors beat Billings to open homestand

Friday , August 11, 2017 - 10:08 PM1 comment

BRETT HEIN, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — It wasn’t a perfect game, but it might as well have been.

Six days after throwing six perfect innings in a win at Billings, Ogden starter Edwin Uceta terrorized the Mustangs again, pitching five scoreless innings Friday to lead the Raptors to a 2-1 win at Lindquist Field.

> Uceta's perfect start leads Raptors to one-hit victory at Billings

Uceta gave up only two hits Friday, walking one and striking out four. Both hits and the walk came in the first inning to load the bases, but the right-hander got second-overall draft pick Hunter Greene to ground out to third.

From there, Uceta threw four perfect innings — giving him 10 perfect innings in his last 11 thrown, and 12 consecutive scoreless innings.

Ogden (6-4, 29-19) did just enough at the plate to get Uceta the win.

Kevin LaChance singled to lead off the bottom of the third and eventually came around to score on a Rylan Bannon groundout to open the scoring.

Center fielder Brayan Morales helped manufacture Ogden’s second run, leading off by reaching on an error in the fifth inning. After stealing second, he took third on a sacrifice fly.

Morales then scored on a grounder from Romer Cuadrado that took a lucky bounce high over the shortstop’s head, accounting for the final Raptors’ run of the night.

It briefly looked like the Raptors might struggle to convert Uceta’s hot arm into a win. In Billings’ first at-bat after Uceta exited the game, Miles Gordon took Patrick Duester deep for a solo home run, cutting their deficit to 2-1.

But that was one of only two hits in the final eight innings for Billings (4-5, 22-24). With two outs in the frame, Duester was saved by left fielder Donovan Casey, who scooped up a Billings single and threw out Andy Sugilio at the plate to end the inning and preserve the lead.

Austin Hamilton pitched two flawless innings to close the game and earn a save for Ogden.

Morales finished 2 for 4 at the plate, the only Raptor to tally multiple hits.

Former Raptors catcher Hendrik Clementina made his return to Ogden after being traded to the Cincinnati Reds organization earlier in the month. The All-Star hit 0 for 3 and is 1 of 17 since being traded.

The two teams continue their three-game series at 7 p.m. Saturday.

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