They are still holding on to first place, but the Portland Sea Dogs did not look like a contender Thursday at Hadlock Field.

The Akron RubberDucks swept the Sea Dogs 4-2 and 1-0 before a crowd of 7,039.

The Sea Dogs have lost six of their last seven games, although they still lead the Eastern League East Division with a 75-50 record. Second-place Binghamton (72-50) is scheduled to play Thursday night and could move within one game of Portland.

Akron (70-53) is in second place in the West Division, a half-game behind Richmond, which played a doubleheader Thursday night in New Hampshire.

“Just going through a tough couple of games,” veteran infielder Ryan Dent said. “We haven’t been swinging the bats well and you kind of put some pressure on yourself.”

Outfielder Keury De La Cruz provided much of the offense with three hits, and the teams’ only two runs for the day. He blasted a solo home run to the roof of the bullpen in right field. He also singled and scored on Carson Blair’s RBI triple.

But that was all.

Luis Diaz (3-3) took the loss in Game 1, allowing four runs on nine hits over 52/3 innings.

“He threw the ball well. Just a handful of guys really squared him up,” Sea Dogs pitching coach Bob Kipper said. “Just one of those days. Things didn’t fall collectively as a club.”

That really goes for Game 2 starter Justin Haley (0-2), who pitched six scoreless innings.

But Jaime Pedroza of Akron pounced on a Haley change-up to start the seventh inning with a home run.

“A bad change-up,” Haley said. “A gift and he did with it what he’s supposed to do.”

Still, Haley has a 0.98 ERA in three starts since being promoted from Class A Salem.

Thursday was not a cakewalk for Haley, who allowed six hits and five walks. But he continually pitched out of jams.

“He competed extremely well. What else could you ask for?” Kipper said. “The moments he fell out of sync, he reined himself back in and made some good pitches.

“Speaks to his ability to stay in the moment and pitch fearlessly in the face of adversity.”

Haley, 23, was a sixth-round draft pick out of Fresno State in 2012. On Thursday he used a fastball that was usually 89-91 mph but topped at 94. He added enough sliders and change-ups to mix things up.

Portland had chances. In the sixth inning, singles by Shannon Wilkerson and De La Cruz put runners on first and third with two outs. Stefan Welch hit a hard liner directly to the right fielder.

Dent led off the seventh (and last) inning with a single. But Portland followed with a strikeout and double-play grounder.

“We’ve got a lot of leaders in this clubhouse and we’ll continue to try to keep things loose and not press so much,” Dent said.

“All we need is a breakout game, get some hits and things will start rolling.”

The Sea Dogs get their chance this weekend with Richmond coming to Hadlock for a three-game series starting at 7 p.m. Friday.