PORTLAND – The times will get better for Alex Wilson.

Wilson, 23, made his Double-A debut Wednesday with the Portland Sea Dogs and got hit hard and often.

The Erie SeaWolves scored seven runs in the first three innings and enjoyed a 9-3 victory at Hadlock Field.

Portland rallied in the ninth to break up the shutout on Yamaico Navarro’s two-run homer and Matt Sheely’s RBI triple.

Wilson, the second-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox last year out of Texas A&M, showed some of his potential with a 95-mph fastball and a glimpse of his slider. He struck out four in three innings.

But Wilson also allowed eight hits, including two home runs, and two walks.

“I was a little bit off mechanically the whole night,” said Wilson, who had not pitched in 10 days.

He gave up a leadoff single to Andy Dirks and fell behind Cale Iorg, 2-0. Iorg then swung and missed two pitches, before fouling off another.

Wilson came in with a fastball and Iorg crushed it for a home run to center field.

Iorg, who later struck out on a slider, was impressed.

“He’s got everything you need to be successful,” Iorg said. “Obviously he’s got a good arm. Throws hard. Sharp breaking ball.”

Erie scored once more in the inning for a 3-0 lead. The Sea Dogs threatened in the bottom of the inning when Nate Spears doubled and Luis Exposito walked. But Thad Weber stuck out Anthony Rizzo looking to end the threat.

Weber (4-7) was making his second straight start against the Sea Dogs. He lost 1-0 last week at Erie, giving up an unearned run in eight innings.

Dirks made it 5-0 with a two-run homer to left-center in the second inning.

Weber got in trouble in the bottom of the inning. Portland loaded the bases with one out on singles by Chih-Hsien Chiang, Juan Apodaca and Sheely.

But Weber struck out Spears and got Che-Hsuan Lin to ground out.

Erie began the third with a 7-0 lead. Wilson retired the next three batters, the last by strikeout, ending his night with 75 pitches, 45 for strikes.

“I liked his stuff,” Portland pitching coach Bob Kipper said. “After a tough inning, it’s hard to settle into a ballgame. He’ll bounce back.”

Weber lasted seven innings, allowing six hits and one walk, striking out five.

NOTES: Shortstop Jose Iglesias had his bruised right hand re-examined in Boston Wednesday, revealing a slight fracture. Iglesias, who was hit by a pitch on May 29, said he could be out at least three more weeks.

Ray Chang went 2 for 5 to up his average to .320. He is a candidate for the Eastern League All-Star game July 14 in Harrisburg, Pa. Fans can vote online at www.seadogs.com.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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