PORTLAND – The Portland Sea Dogs missed the playoffs for a fifth straight season, knocked out of contention after losing to the Trenton Thunder 8-0 in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday evening, before 7,268 at Hadlock Field.
Trenton completed the sweep with a 4-2 win in the second game.
The Thunder (73-67) clinched second place in the Eastern League’s East Division and will play a best-of-five series against division champion Binghamton later this week. The Trenton-Binghamton winner will then play either Harrisburg or Erie for the league title.
Portland (68-72) completes its season with games Sunday and Monday, both at 1 p.m., against the Thunder.
“To be in it, going into the last series of the year, with the guys who have moved on, is a credit to the guys in this clubhouse,” said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles, who had seven players promoted, including four starting pitchers.
In the first game Saturday, Trenton’s Shane Greene (8-4) pitched a three-hit shutout in the seven-inning game.
Juan Carlos Linares had two of those hits, continuing his hot trend. He also doubled in a run in the second game and is batting .478 over his last 11 games.
Garin Cecchini went 0 for 3 in three plate appearances in the first game, ending his on-base streak at 39 games. He doubled twice in the second game.
Portland’s first-game starter, Mickey Pena (1-1) allowed six runs over four innings.
In the second game, Portland’s Terry Doyle (1-6) went the entire seven innings, giving up four runs on six hits.
The Sea Dogs scored once in the third (doubles by Derrik Gibson and Cecchini) and the fifth (doubles by Michael Almanzar and Linares).
While most of the Sea Dogs will be finished with their season on Monday, some may be sent to Triple-A Pawtucket, as early as today, to bolster that team in the playoffs.
Catcher Christian Vazquez is a prime candidate for promotion.
NOTES: Anthony Ranaudo, who was promoted to Pawtucket on Aug. 2, was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, the league announced Saturday. Ranaudo, 23, was 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA with the Sea Dogs. He struck out 106 in 1092/3 innings, and led the league in fewest walks and hits per inning (1.09). Ranaudo is the third Sea Dogs pitcher to win the award, following Michael Tejera (1999) and Jon Lester (2005). A taped interview with Ranaudo was shown on the video board between games. In other events Saturday, Boston Bruins forward Daniel Paille threw out the first pitch and representatives from the Dead River Company presented a $14,000 check to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, culminating Saturday’s food drive. Sunday’s 1 p.m. game will feature the annual Field of Dreams celebration (look for the cornfield). The game is nearly a sellout. Other seats, unused by season-ticket holders, may become available. Left-hander Henry Owens 1.09 ERA) starts for Portland.
Two former Portland pitchers have been called up to the majors with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Kris Johnson is scheduled to start Sunday’s game against St. Louis, while Stolmy Pimentel is in the bigs for the first time.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: