MANCHESTER, N.H. – The way the Portland Sea Dogs were swinging the bats Sunday afternoon, they had no business being in the game.

But there was Portland in the ninth inning with bases loaded and no outs, having closed the score to 6-3.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats reliever Alan Farina found the plate and struck out three straight Sea Dogs to end it.

The 6-3 loss dropped Portland to a 63-70 record as the Sea Dogs head to Hadlock Field for their last home stand.

A quartet of New Hampshire pitchers held Portland to four hits.

“We kind of slept through the game offensively,” said Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler. “The guys were a little flat from that standpoint. But they gave us a chance there in the last inning.”

Nate Spears began the ninth with a walk. Jose Iglesias grounded to second base, which appeared to be a sure double play. But second baseman Callix Crabbe hurried and then bobbled the ball. All runners were safe.

Anthony Rizzo walked to load the bases and that chased reliever Ronald Uviedo.

Farina entered and walked Ryan Lavarnway to score a run, making it 6-2.

Farina came inside to Ray Chang and the ball hit both his right hand and the bat. While Chang was being tended to, Fisher Cats Manager Luis Rivera argued that it should have been a foul ball.

But Chang was awarded first base. He will have the hand examined thoroughly today.

With the score 6-3, Jorge Padron stepped in and worked a full count. Farina delivered a high fastball. Padron swung and missed.

Then Farina got Ryan Khoury to chase after a breaking ball for strike three, while Chih-Hsien Chiang took a fastball down the middle to end the game.

The playoff-bound Fisher Cats improved to 76-57.

Kyle Weiland (5-9) pitched well and did not deserve the loss, allowing six hits and two runs (one earned) over five innings. He struck out three and walked none.

“He did a nice job,” Beyeler said. “He was around the plate and pretty aggressive.”

Portland led 1-0 in the second inning when Lavarnway doubled, went to third on Chang’s single, and scored when Padron grounded into a double play.

But New Hampshire scored two in the third on three singles, a passed ball charged to Lavarnway, and a groundout RBI.

The Fisher Cats scored four in the seventh off reliever Ryne Miller on home runs by Jonathan Jaspe (solo) and Eric Thames (three-run).

Then came the wild ninth.

Now the Sea Dogs come home for eight games at Hadlock before calling it a season.

“The guys have to keep playing,” Beyeler said. “Eight days for someone to get noticed — a time for guys to keep getting better and grinding it out, instead of just folding their tent and getting ready to go on vacation.”

NOTES: Outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin received a scheduled day off after coming off the disabled list on Saturday.

Lavarnway (1 for 3) finished the road trip 8 for 19 with four home runs and six RBI.

Chiang has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games, going 17 for 42 (.405).

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

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