March 11, 2010

On all cylinders

KEVIN THOMAS

— By

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Photo by John Ewing/Staff Photographer... Wednesday, April 8, 2009... Portland Sea Dogs outfielder Aaron Bates.

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Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer: Portland Seadogs starting pitcher Junichi Tazawa delivers a pitch during their game against the Trenton Thunder at Hadlock Field in Portland on June 7, 2009. Tazawa gave up one run in the game.

Tim Greenway

Additional Photos Below

Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Junichi Tazawa tamed another team and the Portland Sea Dogs swung their bats with authority while fielding well.

All the Hadlock Field crowd of 7,083 could ask for was good weather.

Sunny and 73 degrees.

The Sea Dogs ended a successful homestand by beating the Trenton Thunder 10-3 Sunday afternoon, breaking open a close game with eight runs in the seventh inning.

Portland (29-27) went 5-2 on the homestand and is 21/2 games behind Eastern Division-leading Connecticut and 11/2 behind Trenton (30-25) in the Eastern League standings.

Tazawa (7-3) became the winningest pitcher in the league this season, allowing four hits and one run in six innings. He walked two and struck out six. His only hiccup was a solo home run by 31-year-old Noah Hall in the sixth on an 11-pitch at-bat.

''Pretty good (game), except for the home run,'' Tazawa said through an interpreter. ''Everything was good, the fastball and breaking balls.''

Tazawa, who turned 23 Saturday, used his splitter to strike out four batters. He has 63 strikeouts in 67 innings and an ERA of 2.67.

Sea Dogs outfielder Aaron Bates, who is batting .340, was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game. Outfielder Josh Reddick will rejoin the Sea Dogs this week from the disabled list.

Since the Sea Dogs made five errors and lost a sloppy game last Monday, they have made only two errors and are on a four-game errorless streak.

''We had a nice talk after that game and realized we had to get back to the basics,'' outfielder Bubba Bell said. ''I think it woke a lot of guys up, and we're playing well.''

Bell gave Portland the lead for good, 2-1, with a solo home run to right field in the sixth, pouncing on a fastball from reliever Alan Horne (0-3).

Before that, Tazawa was locked in a duel with Trenton starter Ryan Pope, who went five innings and gave up four hits and one run.

Portland got its first run in the third on a double by Ryan Khoury, a sacrifice by Argenis Diaz and Mark Wagner's RBI single.

In the seventh, Horne fell apart. Ryan Kalish struck out on a wild pitch but reached first base when Horne's pitch went to the backstop. Khoury blooped a singled and Diaz bunted and reached on Pope's throwing error, scoring Kalish.

Bell singled home a run, Wagner walked, Jorge Jimenez hit a two-run single and Bates singled to score another run and chase Pope.

An RBI double by Lars Anderson and a run-scoring single by Kalish gave Portland a 10-1 lead.

Anderson was 2 for 3 with two doubles, upping his average to .262. He is hitting .370 in the last 11 games.

Wagner went 2 for 3 and improved to .321.

Portland reliever Richie Lentz gave a two-run homer to Chris Malec in the eighth.

The Sea Dogs are off today before leaving for three games in Erie, Pa. and three in Akron, Ohio. They return to Hadlock Field on June 16.

NOTES: Ryan Baker, the former Portland High standout catcher, was added to the Trenton roster Sunday because catcher Jesus Montero is still not ready to go after his collision with Bell in Friday night's game.

Baker, 24, graduated from Portland in 2003 and played for Daytona Community College and the University of Cincinnati, where he made the all-Big East team in 2008. The New York Yankees signed him as an undrafted free agent last year. He was in extended spring training in Tampa, Fla.

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

kthomas@pressherald.com

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Additional Photos

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Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer: Portland Sea Dogs catcher Mark Wagner cools off in the dugout during their game against the Trenton Thunder at Hadlock Field in Portland on June 7, 2009.

Tim Greenway

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Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer: Portland Sea Dogs' Mark Wagner slides safely into second base as Trenton Thunder's Reegie Corona can't hold onto the ball at Hadlock Field in Portland on June 7, 2009.

Tim Greenway

 


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