The Portland Sea Dogs rarely lose at home, but the Trenton Thunder are proving difficult for the Dogs.
Trenton, the New York Yankees’ Double-A affiliate, beat Portland for the third straight time Saturday night, topping the Sea Dogs 5-2 before 7,368 at Hadlock Field.
It was the first time Portland has lost three straight home games all year. The Sea Dogs (71-44) will try to avoid a four-game sweep to the Thunder (56-59) at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Portland led 2-1 until the Thunder finally got to Sea Dogs starter Mike Augliera (5-10) with four runs in the seventh.
Augliera, who pitched a two-hit shutout over eight innings in his last start, was containing Trenton until yielding four hits in the Thunder’s big inning.
Trenton started Joe De La Cruz, who spent the past three months in Triple-A. He allowed one run in four innings.
A Shannon Wilkerson single and two Trenton errors loaded the bases with one out in the third inning. Sean Coyle hit a slow bouncer to second base for a groundout RBI. It was Coyle’s 53rd RBI, one behind the team leader, Blake Swihart.
Wilkerson singled again to begin another rally in the fifth off reliever Francisco Randon (2-1). Randon then hit Mike Brenly, walked Coyle and hit Michael Almanzar to force in a run for a 2-1 Portland lead.
But that was all the Sea Dogs managed.
Sea Dogs reliever Aaron Kurcz pitched two perfect innings with two strikeouts.
NOTES: Before the game, infielder Mike Miller was added to the Sea Dogs’ roster from advanced Class A Salem. Miller, 24, was a ninth-round draft pick in 2012 out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. Last year Miller was hitting .356 for Greenville when he injured a quadriceps muscle in late April and missed the rest of the season. This spring Miller broke a hamate bone in his wrist and missed the first two months. He was batting .307 in 49 games for Salem.
With the promotion of Dan Butler to the majors Saturday, six former Sea Dogs have reached Boston for the first time this season. The other five are Alex Hassan, Garin Cecchini, Mookie Betts, Christian Vazquez and Anthony Ranaudo. … Former Portland pitcher Matt Barnes made the start for Pawtucket on Saturday, throwing seven no-hit innings (two walks, 10 strikeouts). Barnes left after throwing 106 pitches (66 strikes).
The Sea Dogs complete their homestand at 1 p.m. Sunday. Fans with tickets can play catch in the Hadlock outfield from 10 to 11:15 a.m.). … About 775 tickets remain for the game. … Newly acquired pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will make his debut with the Red Sox organization. Rodriguez, 21, a left-hander, came to the Red Sox in the Andrew Miller trade to Baltimore. Rodriguez was ranked as the Orioles’ No. 3 prospect by Baseball America. Rushed to Double-A, he was 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA with the Bowie Baysox. … Sunday’s game will be televised by NESN.
The Sea Dogs will fly out Monday for a trip against two of the better teams in the West Division, third-place Bowie (Tuesday through Thursday) and first-place Richmond (Friday through next Sunday).