RICHMOND, Va. — The Portland Sea Dogs fell into an early hole they couldn’t escape Saturday night at The Diamond.

The Flying Squirrels took a 4-0 first-inning lead against beleaguered Sea Dogs starter Michael Lee and held on for a 7-5 victory before 7,397.

Lee (1-6) has gone 16 straight starts without a victory. During that spell, he has five losses and 11 no-decisions.

“Richmond came out very aggressively and Michael elevated some pitches in the strike zone,” said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles.

Richmond (62-51), in a three-way battle for the Western Division title, was paced by leadoff hitter Francisco Peguero, who was 4 for 4 with two runs, a stolen base and an RBI. His fourth-inning triple knocked in the Squirrels’ fifth run.

Richmond wasted no time ruining the night for Lee.

Peguero and Charlie Culbertson opened the first with a singles, and Roger Kieschnick followed with a two-run triple down the right-field line.

Chris Dominguez then rocked the first pitch he saw from Lee well over the left-field double-decker fence for his sixth home run since a midseason call-up from Class A.

Lee was pulled by Boles after allowing two more runs in the fourth, with just one out.

Eammon Portice worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings, then gave way to Josh Fields in the seventh.

Fields struck out Dominguez and Wes Hodges, but in the eighth allowed a run on a walk to Juan Perez, a stolen base and then Skyler Stromsmoe’s RBI single.

“Eamon was outstanding and I really enjoy having Josh in our bullpen,” said Boles. “He has a power arm.”

Fields came to the Boston organization in the trade that sent slugger Chih-Hsien Chiang to Seattle last week.

The Sea Dogs (47-66) got two runs in the third off left-hander Clayton Tanner on a single by Oscar Tejeda, a walk to Ryan Dent and a two-run single by Ryan Khoury.

Portland added a run in the fifth when Tejeda singled, then scored on hits by Dent and Jeremy Hazelbaker.

Hazelbaker’s liner up the middle nailed Tanner in the chest. After several minutes of being attended to, Tanner resumed pitching and retired Khoury and Alex Hassan to end the inning.

In the seventh, Butler walked, chasing Tanner in favor of Hector Correa. A Correa walk to Hazelbaker and a single by Khoury made it 6-5.

Mitch Dening pinch hit for Hassan and struck out on a 2-2 count after several foul balls.

Dening contested the call with umpire Shaun Lampe until Boles came out to make peace.

“I just thought (the umpire) called a strike on the same pitch that was a ball the pitch before,” said Dening.