PORTLAND – It’s too bad Ethan Martin wasn’t still available to the Boston Red Sox when they made their mega-trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last weekend.
Martin, once a Dodgers pitching prospect, was obtained by the Phillies in a July 31 deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Dodgers.
On Sunday, the Portland Sea Dogs faced Martin for the first time, and it did not go well for the home team. Martin stifled the Sea Dogs, allowing two hits over seven innings for the Reading Phillies in a 5-0 win at Hadlock Field.
Portland had only three base runners, and none reached second base.
Martin, now 5-0 with Reading, struck out eight and walked none.
“One of the better arms we’ve seen this year,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said.
Martin’s former teammate in the Dodgers’ system, Allen Webster, was one of the principles involved in the Red Sox trade. Webster (0-1) made his second start for the Sea Dogs and allowed five runs over five innings.
“I was inconsistent with my mechanics,” said Webster, who added his adjustment to a new organization has gone smoothly. “I’m fitting in well, liking everybody here.”
Webster was wild at the start, loading the bases with one out on a walk and two hit batters. Two runs eventually scored.
Webster, a sinker-ball pitcher, gave up a Jake Fox home run in the third — only the second home run he’s allowed this season.
After the home run, Webster retired seven of the next eight batters.
“Once he settled into the game, I thought he threw all three pitches really well,” said Sea Dogs catcher Matt Spring, referring to Webster’s fastball, slider and change-up.
But Webster got into trouble with two outs in the fifth — allowing two runs on a walk and three singles.
Ryan Pressly relieved Webster and pitched three perfect innings. Michael Olmsted pitched the ninth. He gave up a one-out triple and walk, but escaped to keep his ERA at 0.00 in 14 appearances.
Portland’s three singles came from Marquez Smith, Xander Bogaerts and Ronald Bermudez. Bogaerts (.330 average) has hit safely in 18 of his 22 games with Portland.
Portland dropped to 68-72, while Reading (75-66) clinched at least a tie for second place in the Eastern League’s East Division. Reading can clinch a playoff spot with a win today, or a loss by New Britain (74-67).
NOTES: Pitcher Mike MacDonald of Camden, the first Mainer to play for the Sea Dogs, was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. He started Sunday evening’s game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and allowed two runs in four innings, striking out six. … Sunday’s announced paid attendance was 6,932. The game, which was delayed a half-hour by rain, began with the annual Field of Dreams celebration. Players dressed in old-time uniforms emerged through cornstalks in center field and proceeded to walk through the Hadlock stands, thanking fans for their support. … The annual individual awards will be announced before today’s 1 p.m. game.
Staff writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: