NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The way Manager Kevin Boles sees it, the Portland Sea Dogs’ luck was bound to change.

If Wednesday’s game was a harbinger, the Sea Dogs are primed for a winning streak.

A hard grounder up the middle by Heiker Meneses in the ninth inning had that double-play look, but instead struck the second-base bag as the go-ahead run scored in a 7-3 victory against the New Britain Rock Cats.

Portland (6-15) returns home with its first series win of the season after taking 2 of 3 from the Rock Cats (13-7).

“We haven’t caught too many breaks early on this year, but our guys kept plugging and grinding it out,” Boles said. “It was good to see a couple of balls fall our way today.”

The Sea Dogs trailed 3-2 entering the ninth inning, and New Britain reliever Daniel Turpen (2-1) got Oscar Tejeda on a foul pop.

But Bryce Brentz doubled into the right-field corner, and Ronald Bermudez’s tapper in front of the mound went for an infield hit. When Turpen booted it, pinch-runner Jeremy Hazelbaker advanced to third.

Dan Butler fell behind 0-and-2, then pushed a single through the right side to tie the game.

“I was trying to get the bat on the ball. Turpen had some good stuff and I was looking for something out over the plate. I was trying to battle and made contact,” Butler said.

Meneses followed with the unlikely single that gave Portland a 4-3 lead.

“We were laughing about it. That’s baseball for you,” Butler said. “He did a good job getting his bat on the ball with two strikes, too.”

Designated hitter Juan Carlos Linares added a two-run single. Two of New Britain’s three errors in the inning allowed Kolbrin Vitek to score the final run on Reynaldo Rodriguez’s fielder’s-choice grounder.

The Rock Cats scored twice on three hits in the first inning, but Chris Balcom-Miller and the bullpen allowed three hits the rest of the way. Eammon Portice and winner Charle Rosario (2-0, 1.17) yielded only one hit each in their two-inning stints.

“The way (Balcom-Miller’s) pitch count was going and the pace he was going, he was looking at getting three innings,” Boles said. “He settled in, was a little bit more efficient and used contact early, and he was able to get us five quality innings.”

The Rock Cats caught Balcom-Miller early.

Leadoff hitter Estarlin de los Santos doubled into the right-field corner, took third on a sharp single to right by Chris Herrmann and scored on a wild pitch.

Chris Colabello cracked a double to left and New Britain had a 2-0 lead before many of the 5,166 spectators had settled in.

Balcom-Miller’s lack of command got him into more trouble in the second.

Nate Hanson drew a one-out walk and raced to third on a single by James Beresford. De los Santos’ grounder scored the run.

Portland chipped away at Rock Cats starter Luke French with a couple of one-out doubles.

Rodriguez drilled a double in the fourth and scored from second on a wild pitch. Butler (2 for 4) split the left-field gap in the fifth and scored on a single by Derrik Gibson to narrow it to 3-2.

Gibson, who made two sterling plays at shortstop, had three hits in Portland’s 14-hit offense.

NOTES: Boles would not confirm reports that Daisuke Matsuzaka is slated to turn in a rehab stint in Portland on Saturday. “It’s a possibility,” Boles said. “It’s not definite yet. They’ll get final word to us probably (by today). We’ve heard the rumor so we’ll wait and see.”