TRENTON, N.J. — As the Sea Dogs’ losses mount, it is easy to look past an outstanding performance.

Surely, the staggering numbers rightly will get plenty of attention after Portland dropped its eighth straight road game with Sunday’s 6-1 defeat to Trenton at Waterfront Park.

It was the 18th loss in the last 22 games for the Sea Dogs (12-27), who dropped a season-worst 15 games under .500 while losing for the 19th time in 22 road games this season.

They limp home for a much-needed nine-game, eight-day homestand that begins tonight with New Hampshire.

In the latest road loss, the Sea Dogs had little chance after right-hander Stolmy Pimentel continued his season-long struggles when he lasted just 1 1/3, allowing six runs on seven hits to fall to 0-6 while raising his ERA nearly 1 1/2 runs to 7.56.

“Limited command, pitched up in the zone, limited feel for his off-speed (pitches),” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said of Pimentel. “He didn’t look very comfortable.”

But Sea Dogs reliever Jeremy Kehrt did. He came on for Pimentel and tossed not only his best outing of the season, but maybe his best one since being drafted in the 47th round by the Red Sox in 2008.

Kehrt got the first batter he faced, Bradley Suttle, to line into an inning-ending double play and he was off and running. He retired 15 of the first 16 batters he faced, including 13 in a row at one point.

He got the first two outs of the seventh, but left after giving up a solid single to Corban Joseph and an infield single to Austin Romine.

“He was tremendous,” Boles said. “He pitched down in the zone and maintained a real good tempo. It was very exciting to see. He really picked us up.”

Kehrt had allowed 12 runs in his last seven outings on 27 hits in 152/3 innings. But Sunday he was nearly unhittable, giving up just those two hits while striking out one in 5 1/3 to lower his ERA by almost a run to 4.03.

“I felt really good,” Kehrt said. “I was trying to attack the first hitter and from then on carried that forward. One of the best outings I’d say, for sure, this year and one of the best in the last two years.”

Unfortunately for the Sea Dogs, they couldn’t find a similar offensive spark. Portland was shut down early by highly regarded Trenton left-handed prospect Manny Banuelos, who allowed two hits in 4 2/3 while striking out seven and walking four, and scratched out just five more hits off three Thunder relievers.

But Kehrt gave the Sea Dogs something to feel good about as they headed back to Hadlock Field. Using a two-seam sinker, he befuddled one Trenton batter after another.

“Everything was clicking and I was able to drive the ball down and let my two-seam (sinker) work,” he said.

Said Boles, “He was pitching down in the zone, inducing contact and working ahead in the count. That was pretty good.”

Kehrt hopes Sunday’s performance will carry over to future appearances, as he — like everyone on Portland’s roster — tries to open eyes in Boston.

“Outings like this always give you confidence,” he said. “Ever since I was drafted I try to put (where he was drafted) in the back window. I have the opportunity to go out and play and try to show them what I’ve got.”

While Kehrt will look to build on Sunday, Pimentel will try to forget about it. His day didn’t get off on the right foot, as the home-plate umpire made him change gloves due to too much white showing on his black mitt.

“We think very highly of Stolmy,” Boles said, “and we want to make sure he trusts himself and his stuff because he has a quality arm.”

All of the Sea Dogs likely could use a little positive reinforcement right now. Maybe the home fans at Hadlock can help.

“We always enjoy playing in front of our home fans so that’s something we’re looking forward to,” Boles said.

“We can’t use being on the road so much as an excuse, but it’s obviously going to be good to have a nice homestand,” Kehrt said.