Wednesday May 18, 2011 | 01:26 AM

It took 35 games, but the Portland Sea Dogs finally have 12 victories, after beating Reading 14-4 Tuesday. Alex Hassan homered. Both Che-Hsuen Lin and Jon Hee had three hits. See the story.

Former Sea Dogs pitcher Michael Bowden got his first call-up to the majors this season. He is expected to join the Red Sox today. Bowden, 24, had a 1.59 ERA in 22 2/3 innings of relief in Pawtucket.

This is a big year for Bowden. He will be out of minor league options with Boston after this season so, if he is going to be part of the Red Sox after 2011, he needs to produce. In the past three seasons, he has pitched 36 1/3 major league innings (6.69 ERA).

While Bowden was leaving Pawtucket Tuesday, so was another former Sea Dogs pitcher, left-hander Kris Johnson. But Johnson had no destination. The Red Sox released him.

Johnson, 26, was a 2006 sandwich-round draft pick (noted for being taken one pick before the Yankees grabbed Joba Chamberlain). His best season was with Portland in 2008 (8-9, 3.63). He was invited to major league spring training in 2009, but his career then went downhill.

Johnson (pictured at right) never thrived in Triple-A and never got a call to Boston. He had a 12.63 ERA for the PawSox this season.

One more former Sea Dogs pitcher, Clay Buchholz, is scheduled to start tonight against the Tigers. Buchholz (4-3, 3.94) had his best start in his last outing (7 IP, 2 R). He opposes lefty Phil Coke (1-5, 4.54).

The Sea Dogs are home tonight at 6, with Michael Lee (1-3, 4.45) starting.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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