PORTLAND – The Portland Sea Dogs were optimistic after going 14-13 in June.
July could turn out to be better, but not if they have to keep facing Joel Carreno.
Carreno, a Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitching prospect, mowed down the Sea Dogs for the third time this year as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats posted a 6-2 victory Friday night at Hadlock Field.
Carreno (7-5) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with a five-hitter over seven innings, allowing one run while striking out six.
Carreno struggled in April (when he did not face Portland), but has had a 2.23 ERA since then and was selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star game.
“Plus fastball. Plus slider. This guy has a lot to offer,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.
Portland starter Brock Huntzinger (4-7) was locked in a duel early, pitching shutout ball through four innings. But he allowed a two-run homer in the fifth by Mark Sobolewski and a solo shot in the sixth by Mike McDade.
“He attacked the zone down but made a couple of mistakes up,” Boles said.
Huntzinger was still in line for a quality start, but gave up an RBI double with two outs in the seventh on a 10-pitch at-bat by Justin Jackson.
After Huntzinger left the game, a single and fielding error followed and Portland trailed, 6-1.
“I felt real good,” Huntzinger. “First time I’ve pitched over six innings and been in control, save for two pitches for the home runs.
“You get rewarded for making good pitches and punished for making bad ones. That’s what we’re trying to work on.”
Jeremy Hazelbaker closed it to 6-2 with his second home run with the Sea Dogs, a blast to the right-field pavilion off reliever Yohan Pino in the eighth. Hazelbaker went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs.
Reynaldo Rodriguez broke up the no-hitter in the fifth with a double to right, although he was thrown out at third trying for a triple. He went 2 for 3.
Portland dropped to 28-50 as its win streak ended at three. New Hampshire has the best record in the Eastern League at 47-31.
NOTES: After coming back from elbow surgery, Junichi Tazawa is scheduled to make his second appearance with the Sea Dogs tonight. He will follow starter Stolmy Pimentel, who is not expected to go beyond three innings. Will Middlebrooks played his first game at third base since he went on the disabled list June 11 with a strained triceps muscle. He handled a grounder in the eighth and fired a strike to first base. Charle Rosario pitched well in relief on Thursday in his Double-A debut (two innings four strikeouts). His reward? He was sent back to Class A Greenville. Rosario was here only to help in the short term. Rosario was replaced on the roster by Miguel Gonzalez, who was switched from Pawtucket’s to Portland’s. The announced paid attendance was 5,152.
The Sea Dogs celebrated the seven millionth fan to come through the gates in their 18th season. The fan, Belinda Morel of Greene, received two season tickets as well as several gift certificates from area merchants.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: