PORTLAND – The starting pitching again struggled early. Eleven more runners were left in scoring position. The troubles continued as the Portland Sea Dogs’ three-game series against the Bowie Baysox ended with a 4-3 loss Thursday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

The Baysox led 2-0 after just five batters in the first inning against starter Jeremy Kehrt and ultimately handed the Sea Dogs their seventh loss in 10 games.

“They put the ball in play the first couple pitches,” said Portland second baseman Nate Spears, whose team lost 2 of 3 to the Baysox in the first series between the teams this season. “They went right after us.

“They swung it well and we swung it well, too. It’s just one of those things.”

The Sea Dogs (53-58), who outhit the Baysox 11-9, cut the deficit to 4-3 in the sixth inning on Spears’ two-run double. In the bottom of the ninth, Bowie closer Pedro Beato retired Ray Chang, Ryan Lavarnway and Anthony Rizzo — Portland’s Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters — to earn his 13th save.

“That’s what you want to do,” Spears said. “You want to put yourselves in a position to either tie the game in the ninth inning or go ahead, and we had a couple chances to tie it and we didn’t.”

Bowie (61-50) took a 2-0 lead on three hits in the top of the first, including Ryan Adams’ two-run double, then added a run in the second on Tyler Henson’s sacrifice fly off Kehrt, who allowed six hits, walked four and struck out two in five innings. He took his ninth loss in 11 decisions.

“Jeremy did a good job of controlling the damage,” Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “The way that started out, if we’d known we’d get five innings out of him and only four runs, we’d be pretty happy with that.”

The Sea Dogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but winning pitcher Pedro Viola struck out Will Vazquez before Che-Hsuan Lin popped out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the fourth, Vazquez’s sacrifice fly drove in Ryan Khoury for Portland’s first run, but Brandon Waring’s RBI single increased Bowie’s lead to 4-1 in the top of the fifth.

Spears drove in Chih-Hsien Chiang and Lin in the sixth on a double down the right-field line with two outs.

In the final three innings, Portland had only one runner in scoring position — Lin, who reached on a two-out double in the eighth.

“Even though we struggled early with the pitching, they kept us in it,” said Spears, who finished 3 for 5 with two RBI. “We only gave up four runs and we had a couple opportunities to score runs, but it is what it is.”

NOTES: Rizzo, the Sea Dogs’ first baseman, finished the three-game series 7 for 14 with two home runs, seven RBI and four doubles. The Sea Dogs open a three-game series against Richmond with a 7 p.m. game today at Hadlock Field. It is the first meeting of the season between the teams.

 

Staff Writer Rachel Lenzi can be reached at 791-6415 or at:

[email protected]