PORTLAND — Only 90 minutes before Monday’s game, Portland Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles grimaced over the blank lineup card on his desk.

How was he going to put together a decent lineup? The Sea Dogs never found a good answer to that question as they lost 3-0 to New Britain on Monday at Hadlock Field.

Before the game, Boles looked like someone putting together a jigsaw puzzle with the wrong pieces.

Already with two outfielders on the disabled list, Boles found out he lost two more when Juan Carlos Linares became ill and Jeremy Hazelbaker’s legs felt tight.

For the game, Boles had a first baseman needing a day off, plus four infielders, two outfielders and three catchers.

The Sea Dogs put utility infielder Zach Gentile in left field and catcher Matt Spring at first. Reynaldo Rodriguez, who played 45 of the first 49 games, was the designated hitter.

Catcher Jayson Hernandez was the only available player off the bench.

New Britain had its own roster issues when expected starter David Bromberg was promoted to Triple-A. The Rock Cats relied on their bullpen to hold the Sea Dogs to six hits.

The Rock Cats did get one player back from the infirmary — first baseman Chris Colabello — and he again enjoyed his Hadlock experience.

Colabello’s two-run homer off Sea Dogs starter Chris Hernandez (2-4) capped a three-run third inning, the only scoring in the game.

Colabello, 28, of Milford, Mass., is in his first season of affiliates baseball after spending seven seasons with the independent Worcester Tornadoes. He was hit on the left hand by a pitch Saturday and sat out Sunday’s game.

He came back Monday even though his hand was still slightly swollen.

It did not seem to bother him. In six games at Hadlock this season, he has six hits, including five of his eight home runs.

“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “Seems like a good hitter’s park and I’ve been fortunate to put some good swings on the ball here.”

Hernandez (3.21 ERA) turned in a quality start, allowing three runs and six hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out two. Hernandez had allowed eight runs and 15 hits over his previous two starts.

“I felt this was a step forward,” he said. “I felt confident with my pitches. I was more consistent with the fastball. The cutter wasn’t as effective, but the curveball was working well.”

Hernandez allowed more than one base runner in only one inning, giving up three straight hits in the third with two outs, with Colabello smacking a fastball over the Maine Monster.

“It was a fastball down and in,” Hernandez said. “A good pitch and he put a good swing on it.”

Brock Huntzinger relieved Hernandez and pitched three near-perfect innings (one hit batter), striking out two.

Portland matched New Britain with six hits, but stranded eight runners, including six in scoring position.

In the seventh, the Sea Dogs loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with two outs. But Dan Turpen struck out Shannon Wilkerson to end the threat.

Boles was not available for comment after the game.

The Sea Dogs left after the game for a six-game roadtrip, starting tonight in Harrisburg, Pa. The team returns to Hadlock Field on June 5.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases