PORTLAND – Alex Wilson lights up the radar gun with his fastball, and has batters whiffing at his slider. The speculation is Wilson someday will find his way into the Fenway Park bullpen.
But as a starter, Wilson is doing just fine in Portland.
Wilson pitched a career-high seven innings Sunday night, allowing one run in a 5-2 victory for the Sea Dogs against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before a sold-out Hadlock Field crowd of 7,368.
Wilson (7-4) struck out three and walked none. He allowed five hits, three of them by All-Star catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who homered with two outs in the seventh.
“Fastball up, right down the middle,” Wilson said of his one mistake. “I felt good (Sunday). I was real efficient with my pitches — 83 pitches in seven innings.
“It was really just the fastball. I didn’t have to do too much. Kept the ball down in the zone and got a lot of ground balls (nine), which is a big thing for me.”
Wilson induced two double plays, including one he initiated himself, throwing to second before a relay to first.
Wilson has had 16 starts for Portland with a 2.70 ERA, fourth-best in the Eastern League.
The win gave Portland (30-50) a 3-1 series win over the division-leading Fisher Cats (47-33). The Sea Dogs have won five of their last six games.
“It does feel good,” Boles said. “The goal is to make sure we’re excelling and trying to get better each day. Our guys are doing that. They’ve worked hard.
“Hopefully that will translate into a little bit better record in the months to come.”
Chih-Hsien Chiang led the offense with an RBI double and a single, upping his average to .302 with a team-leading 56 RBI. Oscar Tejeda added two hits.
Portland took a 3-0 lead in the second inning off Zach Stewart (4-4), on three hits and Stewart’s throwing error.
Stewart finished his outing by retiring 11 straight betters. But reliever Matt Daly gave up two runs in the seventh, keyed by Will Middlebrooks’ RBI double.
Portland reliever Kyle Fernandes allowed a run in the eighth. Blake Maxwell got the last four outs for his seventh save, dropping his ERA to 1.08.
NOTES: Infielder Ryan Khoury was promoted to Triple-A and homered in his first at-bat for Pawtucket. … Khoury replaced a former Sea Dogs infielder, Tony Thomas, who injured his shoulder Saturday in a collision with the third baseman. … Reliever Jeremy Kehrt was sent to Pawtucket to replace Brandon Duckworth, who was placed on the inactive list. …
After four New Hampshire players had personal items stolen from the visiting clubhouse Friday night, Sea Dogs officials said security in the clubhouse has been “buttoned up.”
Following Sunday’s game, the Sea Dogs boarded a bus for a seven-hour trip to Binghamton, N.Y. Portland will play five games in four days at Binghamton before heading to Manchester, N.H., for four games before the All-Star break. … Jacoby Ellsbury of the Red Sox became the 16th former Sea Dogs player named to the major league All-Star game.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: