BOWIE, Md. — The Portland Sea Dogs walked to get their runs Wednesday night, coming away with a 7-4 victory against the Bowie Baysox.
The Sea Dogs drew 11 walks, wasted one scoring opportunity after another, then used run-scoring singles by Carson Blair and Shannon Wilkerson in the ninth inning.
“We had some quality at-bats all game but we were just missing that one timely hit,” said Blair. “I had a chance with the bases loaded in the fifth to do some damage, so it was nice to help do it in the ninth.”
The win was the Sea Dogs’ third straight, clinching a winning road record for the season and moving them back to 30 games above .500 at 74-44.
Portland broke a 4-4 tie in the ninth when Michael Almanzar led off with a single and Keury De La Cruz followed with a double off the wall in right, putting runners on second and third. Blair then laced a sharp single to right, putting the Sea Dogs in front, and Wilkerson followed later in the inning with a two-run single to center.
“Seems like we had some opportunities and we left a lot of guys on base. The ninth inning, the guys just came up with three consecutive hits and that certainly helped,” said Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon.
Portland took advantage of six walks and four wild pitches by Baysox starter Eddie Gamboa, who lasted 41/3 innings.
Gamboa, a converted knuckleballer making his first start since serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for synthetic testosterone, looked strong early, holding Portland without a hit into the fourth.
Bowie took a 2-0 lead off Portland starter Luis Diaz, scoring on a sacrifice fly, then a solo homer by Chris Marrero, who entered the night batting .176.
Following a pair of walks and a wild pitch with two outs in the fourth, Portland tied the game on a two-run single to left by Jonathan Roof. A batter later, following a wild pitch, Michael Brenly singled him home to give the Sea Dogs the 3-2 lead.
“That was our first knuckleballer this year and it took us until the fourth or fifth inning until we started getting some better at-bats,” said McMillon.
Sean Coyle’s RBI single to left, which also followed a walk and two more wild pitches by Gamboa, extended the lead to 4-2.
Portland then missed two prime chances to pull away, loading the bases with one out in the fifth and two outs in the sixth before each time failing to add runs against reliever Steven Hensley.
Bowie then tied the game when Diaz lost command in the sixth, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk before forcing in a run with a walk. Glynn Davis then followed with a deep sacrifice fly to center.
Aaron Kurcz (3-2) allowed one hit over 22/3 scoreless innings to earn the win, and Dayan Diaz pitched a scoreless ninth.
NOTES: Kelly Johnson finished his brief rehab assignment 0 for 6. He’s scheduled to report to the Red Sox on Thursday.
THE SEA DOGS will begin selling tickets packages to all possible playoff games Aug. 11, and will begin selling individual game tickets Aug. 18.
If the Sea Dogs win the East regular-season title, they would be home for Games 3 through 5 in the first round and 3 through 5 in the championship series. Each series is best-of-five. Prices are the same as the regular season and refunds would be given for games not played.