Thursday April 12, 2012 | 10:05 AM

The Portland Sea Dogs, with a 1-6 road trip in the rear view mirror, open their home schedule tonight at 6 p.m.

While the Dogs are struggling, there are some players off to good starts. Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares, who will be sent to Pawtucket as soon as there is room, is batting .407. Infielders Ryan Dent (.385) and Heiker Meneses (.313) are contributing and outfielder Oscar Tejeda (.304) is not letting his new position affect him.

On the mound tonight with be Brock Huntzinger, a pitcher who does not always put up consistently solid numbers, but shows enough spurts of potential with his fastball/slider, that he is still a prospect.

The Red Sox bring their 1-5 record to Fenway on Friday. While it's only one game better than last year's 0-6 disaster, this Boston team seems to be competing better. But if Josh Beckett repeats his first performance of the year ...

Not much happening in the minors. Salem pitcher Keith Couch gave up 7 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings, but you have to like the 8 strikeouts/1 walk. Last year in Greenville, Couch struck out 123, with only 19 walks.

Salem outfielder Brandon Jacobs was struggling with a .176 average. He goes 3-for-4 Wednesday and now he's up to .286 - the magic (and deception) of early-season statistics.

Jacobs, 21, is a wonderful talent and could be in Portland before the year is up.

Check out twitter tonight - ClearTheBases - as we give updates from the Dogs.

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.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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