PORTLAND — After six hours of baseball, the Portland Sea Dogs dropped two games Saturday because of two swings of the bat.
The Trenton Thunder used a pair of three-run homers in an 8-6 and 3-2 sweep before a sold-out crowd of 7,368 at Hadlock Field.

“The guys battled well today, but (Trenton) got after it, too,” Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said.

Portland (22-19) fell into third place in the Eastern League East Division, two games behind Trenton (24-17).

Nate Spears of Portland reached base on seven of his nine plate appearances with three singles, a homer, two hit batsmen and a walk. His on-base percentage is .429.

Jeremy Kehrt, just called up from Class A Salem, had a two-hit shutout through four innings of the second game.

Portland led 2-0 on Yamaico Navarro’s two-run single, but Trenton tagged Kehrt for four hits in the fifth, including a three-run homer by Justin Snyder.

In the first game, both starters got hit early, with the score 5-5 heading to the last of the fourth.

Anthony Rizzo’s RBI single capped a two-run first inning for Portland. In the third, Spears led off with a home run to right-center. After

Che-Hsuan Lin singled, Ryan Kalish hit his sixth homer of the season, to the sixth row of the right-field pavilion, to give Portland a 5-3 lead.

But in the fourth, Justin Christian of Trenton swatted his second homer of the game, a two-run shot to tie it.

Portland starter Stephen Fife (3.92 ERA) pitched a scoreless fifth to finish his day. Reliever Eammon Portice pitched two-hit relief over four innings to give Portland a chance to win.

But in innings five through nine, the Sea Dogs stranded seven, including the bases loaded in the ninth. Luis Exposito softly lined out to end the threat.

Jason Rice (0-1) relieved Portice in the 10th and was in trouble quickly with a walk and, after a sacrifice, a hit batter. Nunez then golfed a fastball over the left-field wall, just inside the foul pole for an 8-5 lead.

Rice hadn’t allowed an earned run in his previous eight outings. When he faced Trenton on April 23, he also gave up a three-run homer.
In the bottom of the 10th, Rizzo singled and scored on Ray Chang’s double, but Josh Schmidt (3-0) retired the next three batters.

NOTES:  Red Sox outfielder Mike Cameron is expected to make his final rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs in today’s 1 p.m. game. … Even though Cameron didn’t play Saturday, he hung around Hadlock Field, took batting practice in the indoor cage and even spent time at the autograph table before the game. … Third baseman Chang left the second game after fouling a ball off his inner thigh. … Trenton center fielder Austin Krum left the first game after injuring his leg on a slide. … In the second game, Portland closer Bryce Cox pitched two perfect innings with four strikeouts. … With Felix Doubront promoted, reliever Robert Coello will start for Portland today. Trenton will go with David Phelps (1.13 ERA), a Notre Dame teammate of Sea Dogs pitcher Kyle Weiland. … The Red Sox released former Sea Dogs pitcher Devern Hansack last week, according to Baseball America.

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