PORTLAND – It was the situation the Portland Sea Dogs wanted in their effort to rally Wednesday night at Hadlock Field.

Portland reduced a 6-1 deficit to 6-5 and put on a runner on base with one out in the ninth inning.

Clutch hitter Nate Spears was in the box, with RBI leader Luis Exposito on deck.

Both hit line drives.

Both balls were caught as the Binghamton Mets hung on for the 6-5 victory.

“The guys battled back well,” said Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler. His team outhit the Mets 8-7 but left 10 runners on base.

“We were kind of flat early in the game and that hurt us.”

Sea Dogs starter Alex Wilson (3-5) was also off early, lasting only three innings, allowing all six runs on five hits, three walks and a hit batter. Wilson, a second-round draft pick in 2009, has had an up-and-down first full season (6.63 ERA).

“He struggles a little bit to control his energy level on a consistent basis,” Beyeler said. “Just a matter of consistency. He’ll be fine.”

The Sea Dogs got a stellar bullpen effort from Mitch Herold and Eammon Portice.

Herold, who has had his struggles, was blistering with four shutout innings (two hits, no walks and three strikeouts). Herold commanded his fastball, curve and change-up, needing only 39 pitches (28 strikes). He lowered his ERA to 5.63.

Portice knocked his ERA down to 4.50 with two perfect innings. Portice struck out three, giving him 93 strikeouts over 92 innings this year.

“Great job by those guys,” said catcher Ryan Lavarnway. “They kept us in the game.”

Lavarnway, who is batting .298 with a .408 on-base percentage, went 2 for 3 with two walks and an RBI.

The Sea Dogs’ two newest Cuban players, Jorge Padron and Juan Carlos Linares, both had two hits and an RBI.

Linares’ two-run double closed Portland to 6-5 in the eighth.

In the ninth, Lavarnway reached on an infield single with one out. Bryan Peterson came in to pinch hit, but he stayed at first as Spears lined out to right field, and Exposito to third base.

 

NOTES: With Hurricane Earl threatening to impact some home games this weekend, the Sea Dogs are holding a “Welcome Earl” promotion Friday. Anyone with the first name of Earl will be admitted free to the 7 p.m. game at Hadlock Field. Call 879-9500 for more information.

Outfielder Chih-Hsien Chiang’s sore left wrist hasn’t improved and he could be done for the season. After a slow start, Chiang batted .260 with 11 home runs and 65 RBI. He batted .321 over the last two months. Spears scored a run in the second inning for his 96th this season, tying him for third best in Sea Dogs history with Cesar Crespo (2000). Ralph Milliard scored 104 in 1995 and Kevin Millar scored 103 in 1997.

The paid attendance was 4,095. There will be fireworks after tonight’s game.

 

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

[email protected]