PORTLAND — The game got so exciting that even when major leaguer Mike Cameron was taken out, he remained in the dugout to watch.

What Cameron saw was the Portland Sea Dogs scoring five runs on one hit in the eighth inning to rally past the Trenton Thunder 11-8 Friday night before a soldout crowd of 7,368 at Hadlock Field.

Trenton helped the rally with five walks, two wild pitches and an error.

The teams are now tied for second place in the Eastern League East Division with 22-17 records.

Cameron, the Boston Red Sox outfielder making his second rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs, went 1 for 4, hitting a home run in the fourth and striking out twice against Trenton starter D.J. Mitchell.

“He was getting everyone out with sliders,” said Cameron, who got a 1-0 fastball in the fourth. “I pretty much hit it on the nose.”

Cameron, who is recovering from an abdominal tear, said, “My body is starting to respond … I got to call (Boston) to see if I have to take a day off (today). I hope Sunday is the grand finale.”

Asked about staying in the dugout, Cameron smiled.

“You become a part of what’s going on and it ended up being a good game,” Cameron said.

Trenton took an 8-4 lead after 6½ innings by turning five doubles plays and pounding Portland pitching.

Sea Dogs starter Casey Kelly threw enough pitches (69) to last only three innings. He gave up five runs on five hits and three walks.
The normally commanding Kelly was wild, and he ran into four 3-0 counts.

“I really didn’t have my off-speed stuff and I was kind of erratic with my fastball,” Kelly said.

Offensively, the Sea Dogs were socking the ball. Cameron smoked his homer to left center. Anthony Rizzo (2 for 4) hit a two-run homer to right-center in the seventh.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias (4 for 4 with a triple and RBI) and third baseman Ray Chang (3 for 4, two doubles and three runs) helped out. Iglesias is now batting .323.

Iglesias also turned in the defensive play of the game, diving to his right to snag a low line drive and then firing back to second base to double up the runner, ending the eighth.

Still, it looked to be a frustrating night for the Sea Dogs until the eighth inning.

With Portland down 8-6, Iglesias led off with a triple to right-center, off new reliever Paul Bush (0-1).

Bush walked Chih-Hsien Chiang and Matt Sheely to load the bases. Lefty Wilkins Arias relieved and struck out Nate Spears.

Right-hander Noel Castillo came in and walked Chang for a run (8-7). Castillo then threw a wild pitch and Chiang raced home to tie the game.
Luis Exposito got the winning RBI with a sacrifice fly to center.

A throwing error by Nunez, the shortstop, and another wild pitch made it 11-8.

Ryne Lawson (3-2) recorded the last eight outs, allowing a single and two walks.

Trenton Manager Tony Franklin and third baseman Brandon Laird were ejected in the ninth for arguing balls and strikes.

NOTES: Right-hander Jeremy Kehrt was called up from advanced Class A Salem to replace the promoted Felix Doubront. Kehrt, 24, was a 47th-round draft pick in 2008 out of the University of Southern Indiana. Used as a long reliever, with two spot starts, Kehrt had a 3.71 ERA in 10 games (34 innings) with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks. He will start the second game of today’s doubleheader.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]