PORTLAND – If the Boston Red Sox rid themselves of some high-priced veteran players, as has been reported, attention will turn to the Boston farm system.
Here in Portland, the Sea Dogs are doing just fine, with a group of players who could be suiting up at Fenway Park someday.
Brandon Workman threw a four-hitter over seven innings and both first baseman Travis Shaw and shortstop Xander Bogaerts homered as Portland beat the Binghamton Mets 4-3 Friday night, before 6,033 at Hadlock Field.
Jeremy Hazelbaker and Bryce Brentz added RBI for Portland (65-66), which won its sixth straight game and is 29-12 since the All-Star break.
Portland’s remote chances to reach the Eastern League playoffs remain alive. The fourth-place Sea Dogs need to finish in second place in the East Division. They are 2 1/2 games behind third-place New Britain, and 4 1/2 games in back of second-place Reading with 10 games to play.
Workman, a second-round draft pick in 2010 out of the University of Texas, ran his Double-A record to 3-0 in three starts, with a 1.50 ERA. He gave up one run (triple, bunt-single RBI), walked none and struck out seven, using a 94-95 mph fastball, and solid curve, cutter and change-up. Of his 80 pitches, he threw 65 for strikes.
“Clearly a dominating performance,” Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper said. “Very aggressive. You can tell he’s a competitor and he trusts his stuff.”
Caleb Clay picked up his eighth save with two innings of work, allowing a two-run Wilmer Flores homer in the ninth.
But that home run did no damage because Shaw and Bogaerts went back-to-back in the eighth inning for a 4-1 lead.
Bogaerts is batting .339 with five home runs in 14 games with Portland.
“Just trying to recognize the pitches,” Bogaerts said. “Getting good swings. But I’m still learning.”
Shaw has 17 hits (.221) for the Sea Dogs since his promotion three weeks ago — 11 doubles and two home runs.
“Even when Shaw wasn’t collecting hits, his approach has been right on,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. “Obviously, he has a lot of strength.”
The Sea Dogs took a 2-0 lead in the third inning with three straight hits. Ryan Dent began the rally, beating out an infield single.
The speedy Hazelbaker followed with his second triple in as many game, this one a line drove to deep center, scoring Dent.
Hazelbaker scored when Brentz reached out and pulled an outside pitch to left field for a single.
In other Eastern League games, Reading beat Erie 6-2, and New Hampshire topped New Britain 5-2.
NOTES: With outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. still day-to-day with a sprained ankle, outfielder Shannon Wilkerson was called up to Portland from Salem. … The Sea Dogs placed reliever Chris Balcom-Miller on the disabled list with forearm tightness. He’s made only one appearance since Aug. 1. … Workman has 15 strikeouts and one walk in 18 innings.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: