PORTLAND – It was billed as Education Day at Hadlock Field, as several school groups spent an afternoon watching the Portland Sea Dogs.
Thursday’s lesson: Throw strikes.
Portland pitchers issued 11 walks, two short of the franchise record, and hit a batter as the Bowie Baysox came back to top the Sea Dogs 7-5.
The Sea Dogs lost three leads in the game — 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 — as Portland kept allowing baserunner after baserunner.
Portland threw a total of 183 pitches, 87 of them for strikes.
“We had a bad case of the walks,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “We’ve had that for a couple of days, but it didn’t come back to haunt us until (Thursday).”
The Sea Dogs issued a total of 15 walks on Tuesday and Wednesday, both wins.
On Thursday, Reynaldo Rodriguez paced the Portland offense with a 4-for-5 day, including two doubles. He leads the Eastern League with 19 doubles.
League batting leader Juan Carlos Linares (.345) was one of the four Portland batters recording an RBI, along with Shannon Wilkerson, Derrik Gibson and Jeremy Hazelbaker.
Sea Dogs starter Chris Balcom-Miller cruised through four innings, leading 2-0, and allowing a single and two walks.
Then, after striking out the leadoff batter in the fifth, Balcom-Miller lost his command. He hit a batter, gave up a 60-foot dribbler down the third- base line for a single and walked the bases loaded.
A sacrifice fly scored a run, and two more Balcom-Miller walks tied the game 2-2.
Balcom-Miller’s line: 4 2/3 innings, two hits, six walks, a hit batter and five strikeouts. He induced six groundouts.
“Early on I felt very good,” Balcom-Miller said. “Then the ball was getting away from me. If I knew what was going on, I’d tell you.”
Chorye Spoone was called in to relieve. Spoone, who pitched two seasons with Bowie, was a minor league free agent this year. The Red Sox signed him and had him in Pawtucket until last week.
After Spoone finished off the fifth inning, Portland scored for a 3-2 lead.
Spoone allowed a run in the sixth. Hazelbaker’s RBI double gave Portland a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the inning.
Spoone allowed two doubles and a walk in the seventh. He left with the score tied 4-4 and runners on first and third.
Reliever Caleb Clay entered, and gave up an RBI single and two-run double. Bowie led 7-4.
After scoring an unearned run the in the eighth, Portland put its first two runners on base in the ninth, down 7-5.
But Rodriguez struck out and Oscar Tejeda grounded into a double play.
NOTES: Anthony Ranaudo (1-1, 6.86 ERA) makes his fifth start for the Sea Dogs tonight. He has allowed three or more runs in each of his previous starts. Balcom-Miller’s ERA dropped a tad to 4.89. The announced paid attendance was 5,541.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: