NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Portland reliever Jose Valdez gave up two RBI singles in the bottom of the ninth inning, then walked in the winning run Wednesday night as the Sea Dogs collapsed for a 4-3 loss to the Rock Cats at New Britain Stadium.
Portland starter Henry Owens struck out eight through four shutout innings and did not surrender a hit. He did, however, walk five batters and left the game with a 2-0 lead. Owens threw 87 pitches.
Mookie Betts extended his on-base streak to 64 games by leading off the game for the Sea Dogs with his 12th double. Betts scored on a wild pitch in the first inning and Henry Ramos scored on Shannon Wilkerson’s single to right field in the second.
The Dogs increased their lead in the top of the seventh. Peter Hissey walked and advanced on a bunt by Wilkerson. Deven Marrero lined a ball into center field to score Hissey.
In the bottom of the seventh, Aaron Kurcz relieved Noe Ramirez, who had provided two scoreless innings. A.J. Peterson reached on an error to start the inning and then Kurcz walked Corey Wimberly. One out later, Nate Hansen hit a grounder into right field that scored Wimberly.
After a scoreless eight, Michael Olmsted gave up a leadoff single to Wimberly in the ninth, followed by a double from Thomas.
Valdez took the mound and gave up ground-ball singles to the next two batters, allowing the Rock Cats to tie.
The Sea Dogs and Rock Cats finish their three-game series at 10:35 a.m. Thursday.