TRENTON, N.J. – The Trenton Thunder crushed two balls off Sea Dogs starter Chris Martin in the first inning and both were outs.

But the Thunder batters connected on an assortment of bleeders and bloops that found openings to score three first-inning runs on their way to a 7-0 rout of Martin and Portland Thursday night at Waterfront Park in the first of a four-game set that began a seven-game road trip for the Sea Dogs.

A 6-foot-7 right-hander, Martin has been impressive, particularly in his last four starts, in his first season of affiliated baseball. But he had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just two innings and allowing five runs on seven hits.

“They found some holes tonight,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “(Martin) made quality pitches that inning. A couple of those hits were at the end of the bat. All of the sudden you look up and it’s 3-0. He kept competing. It’s one of those things that burnt through his pitch count a little bit.”

Martin (2-3) left after 56 pitches, turning it over to Jeremy Kehrt, who tossed four innings, allowing two runs on five hits with four strikeouts.

“I think it’s just unfortunate, that’s the way the game goes,” Martin said. “Balls were dropping in, nothing really hit that hard. It’s partially my fault, leaving balls up in the zone where they can make contact.”

Thunder right-hander Brett Marshall (4-1), the Yankees’ top prospect in Trenton, improved to 4-1 while surrendering just two hits and striking out four against one walk in six innings. For the game, the Sea Dogs finished with just six hits while snapping their three-game winning streak and falling to 1-6 against the Thunder this season.

“He was pretty impressive,” Boles said of Marshall. “One thing he did was pitch inside. It looks like he has a boring fastball inside to right-handed hitters and some heavy sink.”

The Thunder staked Marshall to a three-run lead in the first, on a two-run single by Melky Mesa and an RBI single from Dan Brewer. Neither ball was hit particularly hard, finding room just over the head of second baseman Heiker Meneses and in front of right fielder Bryce Brentz. But they did the job.

Trenton tacked on two more in the second off of Martin, those coming on a solid triple high off the wall in right by Cody Johnson. Other than the two first-inning outs, both of which were liners right back to the mound, that was the hardest hit ball off the Sea Dogs starter.

“Got the ball too much in the zone today,” Martin said. 

NOTES: Bryce Brentz saw his two-game homer streak stopped, but he did single in the seventh and has now hit safely in eight of the last nine games. He is batting .353 during that stretch. Portland was shut out for the third time this season. Trenton’s 14 hits were one shy of the season-worst 15 hits allowed by Portland pitchers on April 15 against Binghamton.