MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Sea Dogs broke their scoreless streak and got a highlight film catch from Shannon Wilkerson in center field.
But they weren’t able to stop their losing skid and ran that season-high mark to five games with a 5-1 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Tuesday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Garin Cecchini’s sixth-inning homer snapped Portland’s string of 32 consecutive innings without a run.
The Sea Dogs had few other answers for right-hander Marcus Walden.
They have scored three runs in their last five games and had been shut out in three straight.
“It is getting frustrating,” Cecchini said. “But that’s baseball. You can’t beat yourself up over it. We’ve been hitting the ball hard at people. We just need to stick to our approach and keep swinging the bat because the baseball gods will be on our side sooner or later.”
The Fisher Cats won a season-best seventh straight and the teams close out the three-game set at Northeast Delta Wednesday night. New Hampshire improved to 48-46 and Portland fell to 46-49.
Portland Manager Kevin Boles shook up his batting order and Cecchini led off for the first time since high school. Peter Hissey batted second and Travis Shaw was third. They are three of the Dogs’ best on-base guys.
“We’re just trying to shuffle the deck a little bit and we’ll continue to do that until we find something that works,” Boles said.
The Fisher Cats again buried the Sea Dogs with a five-run inning. In Monday night’s 5-0 win, they got all of their runs in the fifth.
Tuesday, they got five in the second off starter Bobby Lanigan, who made his first start and second appearance for Portland.
Like Monday, the big blow was a two-run home run. This time it was center fielder Adam Loewen, who pulled a 1-1 pitch over the wall in right.
Five of the six hits Lanigan allowed came in the second. Kyle Kraus, just up from Class A Salem, allowed a single in four innings of relief.
Cecchini ripped a 2-2 fastball to right-center with two outs in the sixth.
The Sea Dogs are 1-7 in their last eight games. In the losses, they have been shut out four times, have scored one run twice and two runs just once.