ERIE, Pa. – Once the Erie SeaWolves got to Stolmy Pimentel, it all began to unravel for the Portland Sea Dogs.
The SeaWolves broke up a tie game with a seven-run, sixth inning in a 9-2 win before 3,589 fans Friday night at Jerry Uht Park.
“They found some holes on him, but I have no problems with the way Stolmy Pimentel competed,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.
Pimentel (4-6) allowed five of Erie’s seven runs in the bottom of the sixth as the Sea Dogs lost to the SeaWolves for the first time in four games this season.
The right-hander yielded seven runs, all earned, on seven hits, walked two and struck out five in 51/3 innings.
“I started doing too much,” Pimentel said. “Tried to finish the inning. The game started speeding up.I gave up a couple of walks.”
Tyler Stohr (2-1) picked up the win for Erie after starter Jared Gayhart had a career-best eight strikeouts in 52/3 innings.
The Sea Dogs (55-64) play the second of a three-game series against the SeaWolves (52-66) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Right-hander Mike MacDonald (1-2, 4.85) is the probable starter for Portland, while right-hander James Avery (10-9, 4.61) is expected to start for Erie.
“We’ve got to come out and attack the zone,” Sea Dogs center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “Be aggressive, swing at strikes and play good defense behind our pitchers.”
Before Erie erupted in the sixth, Pimentel had overcome a two-out, two-run homer by Jordan Lennerton in the first, allowing just two hits and striking out four in the next three innings.
“I wasn’t thinking about (the home run),” Pimentel said. “I was like, OK, we have the whole game. Let’s go out and compete.”
The Sea Dogs tied it in the fourth when first baseman Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer off Gayhart. It was Shaw’s first home run in nine games with Portland.
The Sea Dogs had reason to be confident heading into the bottom of the sixth. Pimentel dominated the fifth with two strikeouts and a ground out.
Instead, things got bad.
Pimentel walked the first batter, shortstop Niuman Romero, who stole second and scored when Nick Castellanos singled to center field.
Pimentel then walked Lenner-ton and surrendered a double to Avisail Garcia that scored Castellanos.
After striking out Daniel Fields, Pimentel gave up an infield single to Rawley Bishop, as shortstop Xander Bogaerts couldn’t get Bishop with a leaping throw to first.
“You’re trying to get a double-play ball,” Boles said. “That’s the thing. He induced a lot of ground-ball contact.”
Then things got worse.
Reliever Chris Martin gave up a single to Corey Jones and a double to James McCann that scored two runs.
McCann stole third base and scored Erie’s final run of the inning on a throwing error by catcher Christian Vazquez.
“You want to keep the momentum going,” SeaWolves Manager Chris Cron said of the successful steal. “Some way, some how.”