March 11, 2010

An offensive extravaganza


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Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer: Mark Wagner of the Sea Dogs dives safely back to first base during the Sea Dogs game against the Connecticut Defenders at Hadlock Field on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

Gregory Rec

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Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer: Brock Bond of the Connecticut Defenders successfully broke up at double play attempt by Zach Borowiak of the Sea Dogs in the top of the third inning on Sunday, April 26, 2009. The Defenders scored eight runs in the third inning and took the lead away from the Sea Dogs who scored five runs in the second inning.

Gregory Rec

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Staff Writer

PORTLAND — If you were keeping score, you needed two pencils.

The Connecticut Defenders survived a day of big hits and suspect pitching by both teams to beat the Portland Sea Dogs 20-15 in a 4-hour game before 7,213 at Hadlock Field.

The combined 35 runs was a Sea Dogs franchise record, as were the combined 43 hits.

Talk about your back-and-forth games:

The Sea Dogs led 5-0.

They trailed 12-5.

They led 15-12 after a 10-run sixth inning.

And they trailed 19-15 after Connecticut's seven-run eighth.

For good measure, the Defenders added a run in the ninth.

''I've never seen one like that. What a weird game,'' Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said. ''We were talking that at least we get to hit last, but it didn't work out.''

Worse than the loss was a hamstring injury suffered by catcher Mark Wagner. As the designated hitter Sunday, Wagner was 2 for 2 with three walks before pulling up while rounding second base in the sixth inning.

Wagner, one of the top catching prospects in the Boston Red Sox organization, was diagnosed with a mild strain and could be out a week to 10 days.

A total of 399 pitches were thrown, 240 for strikes. Pitchers continually fell behind in the count and issued 16 walks, nine by Connecticut.

The Sea Dogs also made three errors, leading to three unearned runs.

''A lot of ugly baseball today,'' Beyeler said. ''We had chances and then we didn't run the bases very well. And (on defense) we would throw to the wrong base.''

Among the offensive leaders for Portland were Lars Anderson (3 for 5, five RBI), Aaron Bates and Jorge Jimenez (both 4 for 6), Ryan Khoury (3 for 6) and Josh Reddick (2 for 5, with a two-run homer).

Portland outhit the Defenders 23-20 but also left 12 base runners to Connecticut's seven.

Defenders center fielder Mike Mooney was 4 for 6 with five RBI, including his second grand slam of this series.

Mooney likes Portland pitching. He not only hit a grand slam on Thursday, he also had one last season against the Sea Dogs.

But Mooney was thinking of rest after the game. Both teams are off today.

''I'm going to stay in bed,'' Mooney said. ''It was one of those games. Everyone was hot.''

Portland starter Blake Maxwell actually cruised through two innings and had a 5-0 lead, but he began the third inning with a walk, his first of the season, and things fell apart.

After a single, third baseman Jimenez could not handle a bouncer. Instead of a possible double play, the bases were loaded. Ground balls started reaching the outfield and then came solid hits, capped by Mooney's slam to right for an 8-5 lead.

The Defenders kept adding on to the lead, but the Sea Dogs returned to life with 10 runs in the sixth. Reddick's homer, Bubba Bell's two-run triple and Anderson's two-run single were the big hits.

After the inning, the Sea Dogs received a standing ovation from the Hadlock fans.

But Sea Dogs reliever Chris Province (2-3) gave up seven runs in the eighth, including two unearned as Bell dropped a line drive in right field.

NOTES: Wagner likely will go on the disabled list. The Sea Dogs have two other catchers: Juan Apodaca and Jon Still. Portland's two starting pitchers on the disabled list, Travis Beazley and Ryne Lawson, flew to Fort Myers, Fla., to begin their rehab. The Sea Dogs' 23 hits broke their previous record of 21, set last year.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

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Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer: Jorge Jimenez of the Sea Dogs belts a single into right field during a game against the Connecticut Defenders at Hadlock Field on Sunday, April 26, 2009.

Gregory Rec


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