Saturday, May 18, 2013
PORTLAND — In their last game at Hadlock Field until July 24, the Portland Sea Dogs provided plenty of reasons for fans to come back.
Adam Mills allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, and the offense backed him up with 16 hits in a 9-2 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before a sold-out crowd of 7,368.
Josh Reddick hit two booming home runs, his team-leading 11th and 12th of the year. Juan Apodaca recorded four RBI with a double and a single, Jon Still went 3 for 5 with two doubles, and Argenis Diaz enjoyed a 3-for-4 day.
Mills (6-5), 24, won his fourth straight start. He escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning, then retired 15 of the last 17 batters he faced. He struck out five and walked three.
''Everything was working,'' Mills said. ''The first inning, I felt so amped up and left every (pitch) up. I had to dial it back.''
Mills' success comes after he struggled in April and May, going 1-3 with an 8.92 ERA and 23 strikeouts. Since then, Mills is 5-2 with a 1.96 ERA and 34 strikeouts.
''He's changed his approach a little bit and is getting after it,'' said Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler.
Portland got to New Hampshire starter Kenny Rodriguez (1-2) quickly, scoring four runs in the first inning.
Rodriguez, 25, defected from the Cuban national team while playing in Ecuador in 2006 and signed with Toronto the next year for a reported $800,000. He made his third Double-A start Monday.
Still doubled home the first run. With two runners on and two outs, Apodaca fisted a blooper that got past diving right fielder Nick Gorneault for a two-run double.
Diaz then doubled in Apodaca for a 4-0 lead.
With two outs in the second, Reddick sent an 88-mph fastball into the bullpen beyond the right-field fence.
Mills, meanwhile, was cruising. He gave up a double and a walk in the fourth, but got out of the inning unscathed. He extended his scoreless streak to 13 innings.
New Hampshire got a run in the seventh against Tommy Hottovy. Reid Engel dove for Darin Mastroianni's sinking line drive to right field and the ball got by him, rolling to the wall. Mastroianni sprinted around for an inside-the-park home run.
Portland added four runs in the bottom half, however. Reddick started the inning by crushing a fastball to the eighth row of the right-field pavilion.
''I got in a little groove, I guess,'' said Reddick, who has hit safely in 11 of his last 13 games, batting .302 (16 for 53) in the process. ''I finally settled down and tried not to do too much.''
Lars Anderson (2 for 3) doubled home Ryan Kalish (2 for 3). Apodaca followed with a two-run single.
New Hampshire scored one more run off Hottovy, in the eighth. Bryce Cox got the last five outs.
Besides pitching and hitting, Portland showed some good defense. Reddick made a diving catch in center, first baseman Anderson leaped to snag a line drive down the line, and third baseman Jorge Jimenez reacted quickly to grab a couple line drives.
''Today was all defense,'' Mills said. ''They were making great plays and I stayed ahead in the count. That's what it boiled down to.''
NOTES: Reliever Chris Province was named to the Northern Division team for Wednesday's Eastern League All-Star Game in Trenton, N.J. Province (3.29 ERA) replaces T.J. Large, who was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. After the All-Star break, the Sea Dogs start a seven-day trip through Trenton and New Britain, Conn. They return home Friday, July 24, playing the Fisher Cats again.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: