The struggling Portland Sea Dogs made the big pitches and got the key hit Thursday night to beat the Binghamton Rumble Ponies 2-1 at Hadlock Field.

Josh Tobias’ two-run double in the fifth inning was the difference as the Sea Dogs (60-68) snapped a seven-game losing streak.

Portland starter Kevin McAvoy (6-7) tip-toed around trouble, allowing one unearned run on six hits and four walks in 71/3 innings while striking out five.

“He was in control from the first pitch,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles said. “It was a most needed start for us, and win for the club.”

Bobby Poyner got the last five outs for his ninth save.

Binghamton (76-52), in second place in the Eastern League’s East Division, still has a magic number of two to reach the playoffs, as third-place Reading (67-62) won Thursday.

At Hadlock, Ponies starter Marcos Molina (2-7) gave up only three hits over seven innings. But he issued two-out walks to Jordan Procyshen and Danny Mars in the fifth. Tobias followed with a double to left-center.

Binghamton, down 2-1, chased McAvoy with a double and a walk with one out in the eighth. Poyner entered and got a flyout, then walked two batters to load the bases. But he struck out Gustavo Nunez on a fastball to end the threat.

In the ninth, after giving up a leadoff double, Poyner struck out the side.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 7,128. … The Red Sox released Sea Dogs pitcher Taylor Grover on Thursday. The 26-year-old Grover, a 10th-round draft pick in 2013, was 3-5 with a 5.16 ERA in 29 games (seven starts). … It was “Throwback Thursday,” with the Sea Dogs wearing the teal and black uniforms of their Marlins-affiliated days. … Third-base prospect Michael Chavis was not in the lineup but did work out before the game at first base. … It was youth football night, and University of Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak addressed several young players before the game. The Black Bears play in Portland on Nov. 4, against Delaware. … Friday’s scheduled game at Hadlock is a 5 p.m. doubleheader because of a rained-out game in Binghamton last weekend.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases