PORTLAND – On Saturday in Manchester, N.H., Drake Britton will take the mound, go into his windup and fire one of those 95 mph fastballs.

And with that, Britton will try to put the memory of Monday night’s game behind him.

Britton, 23, one of the Boston Red Sox’s most promising left-handed prospects, did not make it out of the fourth inning in an 11-4 loss to the Reading Phillies at Hadlock Field.

Britton was tagged for eight runs on nine hits and four walks over 32/3 innings.

“He worked behind in the count and he elevated some pitches,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “And with that lineup, they were able to take advantage.

The Phillies, who lead the Eastern League in batting, outhit Portland 15-5. Marquez Smith had two RBI with two hits for Portland.

Jackie Bradley Jr. also accounted for two of the hits — a triple and double. Bradley was lifted for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. But Boles said he was only giving Bradley a rest in what was then an 11-0 game.

Reading led 7-0 after two innings.

This is only Britton’s third full pro season. He was drafted out of high school in 2007, but underwent Tommy John surgery in 2008.

While 2011 was horrible for Britton (1-13, 6.91 ERA in advanced Class A Salem), he has shown encouraging signs this year and was promoted to Portland on June 1.

Six of his eight starts have been good, allowing three earned runs or fewer.

“There is a lot to like there,” Boles said.

But he is a work in progress. Britton gave up seven runs on June 20. And then there was Monday.

Britton began by allowing a double, walk and RBI single. After a strikeout and walk, it looked as if he induced a double-play grounder to shortstop Derrik Gibson. But the ball took a vicious hop, well over Gibson’s reach, for a two-run single.

The hits and walks kept coming, for four runs in the first, three in the second and, after two outs, another in the fourth.

Phillies starter Austin Hyatt (3-3) put in his finest start since being demoted from Triple-A in early June. He gave up two hits and three walks over seven innings, striking out eight. Hyatt retired the last 13 batters.

Caleb Clay relieved Britton and allowed three runs over three innings. Ryan Pressly came in for his Double-A debut, and gave up one hit over 21/3 innings, striking out two.


NOTES: Camden native Mike MacDonald is going to make his first start at Hadlock Field tonight as a member of the Portland Sea Dogs. MacDonald, 30, was signed by the Red Sox July 8 and assigned to Portland. In his first start, at Trenton, MacDonald tweaked his hamstring in the first inning and landed on the disabled list. He will be activated for today’s game

MacDonald pitched as a pro at Hadlock when he was with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Infielder Ryan Dent returned to Portland from Pawtucket, and left-hander Will Latimer was summoned back to Triple-A

Monday’s announced paid attendance was 5,280.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases