While the parent clubs faced off at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees’ Double-A teams played two hours north at Hadlock Field on Friday night.
And, like the Red Sox, the Portland Sea Dogs were dealing with roster changes, including the promotion of ace Henry Owens.
But it was Trenton’s power, not the personnel moves, that gave the Thunder a 5-1 victory before 6,072 at Hadlock.
Two home runs accounted for four Thunder runs – a solo shot by Tyler Austin in the fourth inning and a three-run blast by Ali Castillo in the fifth. Mason Williams singled home Austin in the ninth.
Sean Coyle hit his team-leading 13th home run in the fourth inning for Portland.
The Sea Dogs saw three players go to Pawtucket – Owens, reliever Mike McCarthy and center fielder Derrik Gibson. The openings were created from Pawtucket players moving up to fill holes opened up by the flurry of trades Boston made Thursday.
Owens, 14-4 with Portland, will slide into the Pawtucket rotation. McCarthy and Gibson appear to be filling in and could be back in Portland.
Also, Sea Dogs starter Luis Diaz took a scheduled break in the rotation. Wilfredo Boscan (1-6) replaced him, allowing four runs over six innings.
The Sea Dogs managed only two hits, and only one off starter Manny Banuelos (1-3). Once a can’t-miss Yankees prospect, Banuelos sat out last year because of Tommy John surgery. He appears to be coming back, dominating Portland – except for Coyle’s blast – over five innings.
Portland’s other hit, a Michael Almanzar double, began a rally in the seventh. Two walks loaded the bases with one out, but Stefan Welch grounded into a double play.
NOTES: McCarthy relieved for Pawtucket on Friday night, pitching 32/3 innings (two hits, one run, three strikeouts) in his first Triple-A game. … Owens was scheduled to start for Portland on Sunday. Eduardo Rodriguez, obtained from the Orioles in the Andrew Miller trade, is likely to start in his spot. … Owens is set to make his Triple-A debut Monday. He became the first starting pitcher promoted from the Sea Dogs this year. … Shortstop Heiker Meneses, who left Thursday’s game with a bruised hand, is day-to-day. … Portland Manager Billy McMillon was ejected in the ninth inning, arguing a checked swing call. … The mascot band Kastaways will perform before Saturday night’s game. … On Sunday, fans with tickets can play catch in the Hadlock outfield from 10 to 11:15 a.m. … Blake Swihart has been nominated for the Eastern League Player of the Month after batting .326 with eight doubles and three home runs in July. He has stiff competition however, including Erie’s Steven Moya (.304, 10 home runs, 33 RBI).