MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Portland Sea Dogs came up with a run in the sixth inning to strike first in a pitching duel between Kyle Weiland and New Hampshire’s Luis Perez.

The lead lasted just four batters into the bottom of the inning and the Fisher Cats rallied to a 4-3 win, their second in a row to open this four-game series.

“They came right back at us,” said Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler. “We gave them an opportunity and they took advantage of it. That’s what good teams do.”

The Fisher Cats ran their winning streak to four games and improved to an Eastern League-best 23-12. Portland dropped to 19-14 and is in second place in the Eastern Division, three games behind New Hampshire.

Weiland turned in another strong start for the Sea Dogs. He gave up a pair of singles to Adam Calderone in his five innings, struck out three and walked one.

“Their whole lineup is full of guys who can hit,” Beyeler said. “If you get ahead of guys and make good pitches, I think Kyle showed you can get guys out. If you get behind guys and have to come in, they’re ready to hit.”

Weiland has allowed no runs and three hits in his last 14 innings over three starts.

“I’ve started to settle into a bit of a rhythm,” Weiland said. “I was able to establish my fastball and take advantage of the defense behind me. It’s nice to have that defense and know you can pitch to contact.”

The problem is, he had a tired arm a few weeks ago, was shut down for a bit and has not been allowed to go more than five innings in a game.

“He’s pretty limited,” Beyeler said. “We’re kind of building him back up.”

Portland grabbed the first lead in the sixth when Ryan Kalish beat out an infield hit and scored on Luis Exposito’s double.

The 1-0 edge didn’t last long.

Weiland’s night was done and Eammon Portice came on in relief. The Fisher Cats had seen enough of the starter.

“It was good,” said New Hampshire Manager Luis Rivera with a laugh.

“We didn’t mind the change. The guy (starting today, Casey Kelly) can go five, too. Get him out after five.

“(Weiland) was throwing the ball good and was changing speeds and we couldn’t put good swings on it.”

Portice quickly ran into trouble. He walked No. 8 hitter Brian Jeroloman and hit No. 9 Jonathan Diaz. Darin Mastroianni moved both runners up with a sacrifice, and Calderone knocked them in with his third hit of the game, a double to deep center field.

Eric Thames followed with a single to score Calderone, and it was 3-1 New Hampshire.

The Fisher Cats added an odd run in the eighth that appeared to be an insurance run but proved to be huge.

Calderone walked with one out. Jason Rice, who relieved Portice, threw wide and low to first base trying to pick off Calderone. The ball got past first baseman Anthony Rizzo and caromed into the Fisher Cats’ bullpen in right field, and Calderone came all the way around to score for a 4-1 lead.

Jose Iglesias singled with two outs in the Portland ninth and Chih-Hsien Chiang homered to left off closer Danny Farquhar to pull the Sea Dogs within a run.

Farquhar got Juan Apodaca on a grounder back to the mound to close it out.

 

NOTES: Portland right fielder/designated hitter Jason Place has been placed on the temporary inactive list. “He went home (to South Carolina) to take care of some stuff,” Beyeler said. Kalish has reached base in 27 of 29 games.