PORTLAND – Dan Butler is a catcher. Sound defensively. Coming around as a hitter.
But as for his swiftness around the bases
“I am who I am, as a runner,” Butler said.
But hustle can make up for a lack of speed.
Butler legged out a double in the sixth inning, went to third on a fly ball to center field and scored the go-ahead run on another fly to center, lifting the Portland Sea Dogs to a 4-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Thursday night at Hadlock Field.
Peter Hissey got the game-winning RBI with his sacrifice fly.
Hissey also hit a fly ball to center in the fourth inning, with Butler on third and one out, but Justin Jackson threw out Butler at the plate.
“He made a good play,” Butler said. “Anybody else running would have probably scored.”
Butler had two hits, as did Jackie Bradley Jr. Bradley’s RBI double in the third was followed by a two-run double by Bryce Brentz.
Sea Dogs starter Anthony Ranaudo put in one of his best efforts in his eighth Double-A start, allowing six hits and two runs over five innings, walking three and striking out three.
In Ranaudo’s two previous starts, he lasted a total of five innings, allowing six runs.
“This is something that I needed, something positive,” Ranaudo said. “I was pretty much able to command the zone and be aggressive the whole game.
“I think I got a little tired in the fifth (two runs on two hits and two walks). But this is definitely something to build off.”
Ranaudo, one of Boston’s best pitching prospects, has been working on his command. He kept his 90-92 mph fastball down, and his breaking ball produced weak grounders and pop-ups.
“He got them swinging,” Butler said, “and then used that power breaking ball.”
Ranaudo left with a 3-2 lead. New Sea Dogs reliever Jason Urquidez (1-0) gave up one hit in 22/3 innings, but it was a home run by Brad Glenn in the sixth.
Then came Butler’s hustle. Hissey’s fly ball was a little deeper this time, and Jackson’s throw was off line.
Aaron Kurcz got the final four outs, three by strikeout, for his fourth save. He has 54 strikeouts in 322/3 innings.
Bradley upped his average to .382 in eight games, while Brentz (.294) now has 35 RBI and 19 doubles.
NOTES: Eastern League All-Star game rosters were announced, and three Sea Dogs will be on the East team — Brentz, first baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez (.252, 12 home runs) and pitcher Chris Hernandez (2.87 ERA). Rodriguez, on the disabled list with a fractured pinky finger, expects to play. The game is July 11 in Reading, Pa. The paid attendance was 4,501. Tonight begins what might be one of the Dogs’ more popular promotions: Flat Screen Friday. Two 32-inch televisions from David Munster TV Sales and Service will be given away.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: