MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Portland Sea Dogs put three catchers in their lineup and all delivered in a 6-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Monday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Matt Spring went 4 for 4 with an RBI double.
Blake Swihart, acting as the designated hitter, hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single.
Michael Brenly took off his catcher’s mitt and played first base. He doubled in a run.
That was plenty for two Sea Dogs pitchers. Knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright, making a major league rehab appearance, gave up five hits and three runs (two earned) over five innings. Keith Couch, normally a starter, allowed only one hit over four innings.
Leading hitter Mookie Betts singled and walked in five plate appearances. First baseman Travis Shaw was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket.
The Sea Dogs (34-16) lead the Eastern League East Division by five games over second-place Reading (28-20).
Spring came into the game with a .191 average. He joked that he could relax at the plate after trying to catch Wright.
“Hitting is a relief when you’re catching a knuckleball,” he said.
Swihart’s home run was his fifth of the year.
Couch, who had started nine games this year (6-0), relieved Wright and threw four one-hit innings, recording his first save. Couch (2.22 ERA) is scheduled to make his next start Saturday, in a doubleheader at Trenton.
NOTES: Red Sox catching instructor Chad Epperson again stood in as Portland’s manager with Billy McMillon away on personal business. McMillon should be back Tuesday for the Sea Dogs’ 6 p.m. home game … The announced paid attendance was 5,983 … The Sea Dogs have not yet filled the vacancy left by Shaw’s promotion to Pawtucket … Peter Hissey had two hits to extend his hitting streak to six games, in which he’s batting .478 (11-for-23).
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: