On a day like Sunday, when the first pitch was thrown in 39-degree weather with a 16-mph wind blowing at Hadlock Field, it’s good to remind Portland Sea Dogs fans that better times are ahead.
On Monday night, top Red Sox pitching prospect Henry Owens is scheduled to make his first home appearance of the season.
And on Tuesday night, Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino may be making a rehab assignment, according to media reports Sunday night out of New York, where the Red Sox played the Yankees.
Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs saw their four-game winning streak end, as the New Britain Rock Cats beat Portland 6-3.
The announced paid attendance was 4,847. The actual crowd was less than half that total, and those who were present at Hadlock represented a hardy group of baseball fans.
Portland provided those fans some highlights.
Second baseman Mookie Betts continued to reach base, going 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI double. He’s batting .457 with a .512 on-base percentage.
Shortstop Deven Marrero had the day off, but backup Derrick Gibson had three of Portland’s five hits and scored twice.
“Just trying to stick with my plan,” Gibson said. “Let it come to me and not try too hard.
“It resulted in an individual good day, but not what you want altogether.”
Gibson, 24, also made some fielding gems — an over-the-shoulder catch of a bloop in left field and a diving snag of a line drive.
A second-round draft pick in 2008, Gibson is in his third season with the Sea Dogs, so this is his third April in Portland.
“Not your ideal baseball conditions, but both teams have to play in it,” Gibson said of Sunday’s chill. “It’s like this in the Northeast. You just have to get used to it.”
Portland reliever Noe Ramirez pitched two solid innings at the end, rebounding from a tough outing Thursday. Ramirez allowed one hit and struck out two.
Sunday’s best pitcher was New Britain starter Sean Gilmartin, who held the Sea Dogs to two runs (one earned) on four hits over six innings. Gilmartin, 23, is a former first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves who was traded to the Twins last year in a deal for utility player Ryan Doumit.
“He mixed it up well,” Gibson said. “He’s been in Triple-A. He isn’t just a thrower; he knows how to pitch, working both sides of the plate, mixing in his breaking ball.”
Portland starter Mike McCarthy (0-2) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits over five innings. Reliever Nathan Reed gave up three runs over two innings.
NOTES: Victorino began the season on the disabled list because of a strained right hamstring. Red Sox Manager John Farrell told reporters that Victorino will be evaluated Monday and might begin a rehab assignment Tuesday. … Owens will make his third start this season Monday. He is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. His first game was a six-inning no-hitter. … The Rock Cats do not return to Hadlock until May 27. By then, it is hoped outfielder Byron Buxton will have joined the New Britain roster. Buxton, considered the top prospect in baseball according to Baseball America, sprained his wrist in spring training.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:[email protected]Twitter: ClearTheBases