Hadlock Field fans were treated to a $10,000 home run and another Henry Owens gem Friday night as the Portland Sea Dogs swept a doubleheader, 4-2 and 3-0, against the Altoona Curve before a crowd of 5,750.
Sean Coyle hit a home run in the first game that sailed over the left-field wall and through the hole in the Sullivan Tire sign. That feat meant Coyle and a Sea Dogs fan would split $10,000. Coyle’s two-run homer also was the difference in the game.
In the second game, Owens, the Sea Dogs’ ace and No. 1 Red Sox pitching prospect, pitched a five-hit, complete-game (seven-inning) shutout, striking out eight and walking two. Owens improved to 9-3 with a 1.99 ERA.
“Early, I felt a little too live with my arm,” Owens said. “I feel like I settled in late and had a good three-pitch mix.”
Of his 98 pitches (64 strikes), Owens threw 52 fastballs – around 91 mph – along with 33 change-ups and 13 curves. His change-up remains dominating (12 swings-and-misses, including six of the strikeouts).
Owens had a couple of rough outings in mid to late April but has cruised since. He has allowed two earned runs total in his last seven starts.
“He believes in what he’s doing,” pitching coach Bob Kipper said. “He has stayed with his routine and he’s the one benefiting from it.”
Owens was supported in the field by some diving stops from shortstop Heiker Meneses and a diving grab of a line drive by right fielder Bo Greenwell. Offensively, new first baseman David Chester singled in two runs and outfielder Keury De La Cruz singled in another.
The first game was the completion of a game started in Altoona on June 11, but suspended in the third inning because of rain with Portland leading 2-1.
Coyle made it 4-1 with his blast in the fourth inning. Because of the promotion, Coyle split a $10,000 prize with a fan with a specially marked program. That turned out to be Norm Harmon, 36, of Cape Elizabeth.
“We go to about 30 games (each season) and maybe get one program a year,” said Harmon, who was with his wife Dawn and sons Gabe, 8, and Will, 5. The Harmons are a host family for Sea Dogs catcher Mike Brenly.
Coyle, who is second on the team with seven home runs, knew of the promotion but said “I didn’t think anyone would put it in. … I was pretty pumped running around the bases.”
Mike McCarthy (6-2) picked up the win for Portland, allowing one run over five innings. McCarthy, who pitched 32/3 scoreless inning four days prior, dropped his ERA to 3.77. Miguel Celestino pitched two scoreless innings for his seventh save.
NOTES: Coyle’s home run was the first ball hit through the Sullivan Tire sign since the promotion began in 2002. … Included in the crowd were Boston Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen, and a coordinators and coaches in the Boston organization. … For the resumption of the suspended game, Altoona turned in its lineup card from the June 11 game. But new reliever Kenn Kasparek was not on it. When the Curve brought in Kasparek in the sixth inning, the umpires would not allow him to pitch, and Altoona had to hurry and warm up a new pitcher. … Three Altoona players, Jarek Cunningham, Gift Ngoepe and Keon Buxton, were suspended for their role in a brawl in a game in New Hampshire on Wednesday. They were allowed to play in the first game Friday, then began serving their suspensions. … Catcher Blake Swihart threw out another base-stealer and improved his percentage to .524 (22 of 42), easily the best in the Red Sox organization … Saturday is Maine Dairy Night at Hadlock. Before the game, players will participate in a cow-milking contest. Plus, cowbells will be given to the first 2,000 fans … Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 5 p.m.