When Slugger the mascot interrupted the Sea Dogs’ game Friday night, it didn’t bode well for the home team.
With two outs in the first inning and a 1-2 count on Trenton’s third batter, the right-field gate prematurely opened. Slugger motored in, riding in an ATV on the Hadlock Field warning track.
Play came to a halt. It was too late for the ATV to turn, so it continued on the track and out the left-field gate.
Trenton then scored four runs in the inning.
The premature entrance was “an honest mistake,” said Sea Dogs General Manager Geoff Iacuessa, explaining that the worker who opened the gate thought there were three outs.
It was the start of a whacky game, won by Trenton 14-10 in a not-so-crisp 3½ hours.
The eventual winning run was scored when reliever Michael Olmsted hit pinch-hitter Taylor Dugas with a slider with the bases loaded in the ninth. Ali Castillo added a three-run double.
Trenton lost the lead three times, Portland lost it twice. It was 10-10 heading into the ninth.
Portland outhit Trenton 16-13.
Henry Ramos went 4 for 5, including a two-run double. Travis Shaw singled three times and walked. Matt Spring added two hits, including a two-run homer.
Mookie Betts continued his hot hitting with two singles, with his average now .431.
But Trenton got the big hits, including three homers, two by Kyle Roller. The first was in the first inning, when Portland starter Mickey Pena fell out of sync.
Pena was cruising until the interruption by Slugger.
“Yeah, I was a little mad it happened,” Pena said, “but you can’t make excuses, especially with little stuff like that.
“I was trying to be too fine with pitches instead of just letting it go and trusting my stuff. … But I felt like I came back to myself.”
Pena threw three scoreless innings before four more runs in the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs tied the game with four in the first, keyed by doubles from Sean Coyle and Ramos.
From there the teams went toe-to-toe.
Aaron Kurcz (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs in the ninth.
NOTES: Former Portland infielder Heiker Meneses may rejoin the team Saturday after being sent down from Triple-A Pawtucket, where he was batting .241. … When Betts singled in the first inning, he extended his on-base streak to 52 games, dating to his time last year with Class A Salem. … Spring’s home run was his second of the year and 81st of his career. … The announced paid attendance was 5,037. … Pena threw 32 pitches in the first inning. Last year the Red Sox took out any minor league pitcher who threw 30-plus pitches in one inning. Pitching coach Bob Kipper said the rule is no longer ironclad.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: