PORTLAND – Wednesday night at Hadlock Field featured a lighting problem, extra innings, and two losses for the Portland Sea Dogs, as the Erie SeaWolves beat Portland 3-2 and 1-0.
The first game was delayed for 70 minutes after the fifth inning because a bank of lights malfunctioned at Hadlock, dimming the view around home plate. Erie led 2-0 at the time.
Once the game resumed, it took on a different tone. The Sea Dogs replaced knuckleballer Charlie Haeger with the fastballs of Miguel Celestino, which reached 99 mph.
Erie starter Matt Crouse also left — to the gratitude of Portland, which managed only two hits over five innings.
In the sixth inning, the Sea Dogs rallied quickly with one out off reliever Tyler Stohr (2-0). Heiker Meneses singled and Shannon Wilkerson walked. Both runners took off when Xander Bogaerts lined a single to center, scoring both for a 2-2 tie.
Minor league doubleheader games are scheduled for seven innings. This game went eight.
Celestino (1-4), who retired his first eight batters without allowing a hit, gave up back-to-back two-out doubles in the eighth for a 3-2 Erie lead.
Bogaerts came up with two outs in the eighth, with Meneses on second base. Closer Justin Souza got Bogaerts to ground out to short for his 12th save.
“Crouse had kept us off balance, but the guys made a run at it late,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said after the first game. “They got into the bullpen and put together a nice approach at the plate.”
In the second game, Erie took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first inning. Left fielder Tony Thomas charged in for Eugenio Suarez’s fly ball, only to drop it. Suarez reached second, and eventually scored on a groundout.
Three Erie pitchers held the Sea Dogs scoreless on three hits. Portland’s Jeremy Kehrt (0-2) took the loss despite allowing only three hits and no earned runs over six innings.
Bogaerts went 2 for 6 in the two games. Boston’s top prospect has now reached base in 51 of 56 games, and has hit safely in 19 of his last 23 starts. Bogaerts is batting .311 with a .407 on-base percentage and a .502 slugging percentage.
The Sea Dogs are 33-30, still in second place in the Eastern League’s East Division, six games behind Binghamton and one game ahead of third-place Trenton. Erie (34-29) is tied with Richmond for first place in the West Division.
NOTES: During the delay, the Red Sox-Rays game was shown on the video board — until shortly after 8 p.m. when the channel was changed to the Bruins game. After the first game, the Bruins game was again on the board. … The announced paid attendance was 3,095. … Thursday’s game features right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (6-1), who is second in the Eastern League in ERA (2.43). A fireworks show will follow the game. … Former Sea Dogs outfielder Alex Hassan has finally joined the Pawtucket roster after rehabbing from a calf strain and a stint with Class A Greenville, where he batted .478 in eight games.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: