READING, Pa. — Jason Place got his first hit of the season Sunday, a three-run homer in the seventh inning that gave the Portland Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead over Reading.

But the Phillies responded with a three-run homer by Tagg Bozied and held on for a 6-4 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.

The loss was the third straight for the Sea Dogs (1-3), who opened the season with a 10-5 win in Reading before the Phillies won the next three, twice pulling out games with late-inning runs.

“I feel like we definitely had the horses to come in here and win the series, but that’s baseball for you,” said Place, who ended an 0-for-12 slump with his home run.

“Any team can win on any day. We’ve got a long way to go.”

The Sea Dogs were dominated over the first six innings by left-hander Yohan Flande, who pitched in the All-Star Futures Game last season.

Flande allowed just one hit over six innings, when second baseman Melvin Dorta drifted under Nate Spears’ fourth-inning pop fly but let it fall in shallow center field.

Once Flande left the game, the Sea Dogs came alive.

Lars Anderson greeted B.J. Rosenberg with a home run to right to open the seventh, cutting Reading’s lead to 2-1.

Juan Apodaca followed with a double and Jose Iglesias singled before Place slammed a Rosenberg pitch to left.

“I’ve been feeling good,” Place said. “I’ve hit several balls hard, I just haven’t been able to find a hole lately.

“Hitting’s definitely contagious. You get three hits in a row, it just carries on down the line. We were able to get something going that inning.”

After Portland took the 4-2 lead, the Phillies got to reliever Robert Coello quickly in the bottom of the seventh, with Mike Spidale getting a leadoff single and Freddy Galvis following with a single one out later.

Bozied, who laced a two-run double in the third, took Coello deep for a 5-4 lead.

“Bozied pretty much put them on his back today with five RBI,” Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “Every time he got a chance to drive in some runs, he did it.”

Despite leaving town with three straight losses, Beyeler was upbeat.

“Our young guys are playing well and they’re playing hard,” he said.

“They’ve kept coming back every game we’ve been here. We did it (Saturday) night and we did it the night before. They’ve taken the lead and guys battled back.

“I’m real happy with the way the guys are playing and the way the guys are swinging the bats. The guys have been aggressive. As long as they keep being aggressive things will be fine.

“(If the) guys play hard like that we’re going to win a lot of ballgames.”

 

NOTES: Right fielder Ryan Kalish was out of the Sea Dogs’ lineup for the second straight game but should return tonight at New Britain, Beyeler said. Kalish fell on his shoulder Friday night chasing a fly ball.

Portland starter Stephen File did well in his Double-A debut, allowing five hits and two runs over five innings. Boston’s No. 17 prospect, File went 3-5 with a 3.71 ERA in Class A last season.

Reading’s Mike Spidale, filling in for injured left fielder Quintin Berry, had three hits Sunday and went 7 for 11 in the series.