PORTLAND – Field of Dreams Day at Hadlock Field is always a special event on the Portland Sea Dogs schedule.
With the cornfield set up in center field, the sold-out Hadlock Field crowd of 7,368 hopped to its feet and applauded when the players began to emerge through the stalks.
They emerged, shook hands with fans in the stands and then faced a powerful-hitting Trenton Thunder team.
Trenton took off with four home runs and five doubles to enjoy a 9-4 romp over the Sea Dogs Sunday afternoon.
The Thunder outhit Portland only 13-11, but they were big hits.
“They impacted the baseball,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said.
Garin Cecchini paced Portland with a 2-for-3 day, two walks, a double and an RBI. He’s now batting .296, with a .420 on-base percentage.
Henry Owens (3-1) gave up two home runs in the first inning and experienced his first Double-A loss.
“Left some pitches up,” Owens said. “After that I just tried to keep us in the game.”
Despite the home runs, Owens settled down. He lasted 52/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk. He had only two other three-ball counts and struck out eight.
“They ambushed him early, but then he started to pitch and got that change-up in the mix,” Boles said. “I was very impressed with his outing.”
Owens finished with 169 strikeouts in 135 innings, easily leading all pitchers in the Red Sox organization. His combined ERA was 2.67 (1.78 in Double-A).
The Sea Dogs closed to 3-2 in the fifth. Michael Almanzar hit a sacrifice fly and Travis Shaw followed with an RBI single. Deven Marrero then singled to right, but Juan Carlos Linares was thrown out trying to score from second.
Miguel Celestino relieved Owens and got into trouble in the seventh, allowing five runs on four hits and walk. Celestino continues to show a high-90s fastball and has 70 strikeouts in 72 innings, but his ERA is 6.13.
Down 9-2, Portland rallied in the ninth. Derrik Gibson singled in a run, and Cecchini walked with the bases loaded. But Tony Thomas popped up to end it.
NOTES: Catcher Christian Vazquez finally got his expected promotion to Pawtucket, joining the Triple-A team on Sunday. Vazquez, in his first year on the Red Sox 40-man roster, batted .289 in Portland. He led all catchers in the Red Sox organization by throwing out 46 percent of base stealers (47 of 101). … Vazquez will be a leading candidate for one of the Sea Dogs team awards that will be handed out before Monday’s game. Anthony Ranaudo, recently named Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, is another candidate, although Keith Couch (11-3) led the team in wins and had a 3.47 ERA. … Reliever Chris Balcom-Miller is wearing a sling after being diagnosed with a slight tendon tear in his elbow.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: