Saturday April 21, 2012 | 04:23 PM

While the Boston Red Sox are in the early innings with the Yankees, both the Pawtucket Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs finished their afternoon games Saturday.

Pawtucket beat Durham 9-5. The story continues to be Will Middlebrooks who hit his seventh home run and fourth in four games. Middlebrooks went 2-for-5 and is batting .379 … Mauro Gomez hit his fifth home run … Lars Anderson hit his first home run of the season … Jose Iglesias (.241) went 2-for-4.

PawSox starter Ross Ohlendorf was cruising along until a four-run sixth. He left with runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth … Reliever Mark Melancon allowed one of those inherited runners to score, on a single. He also had a strikeout in 1 1/3 IP … Rich Hill gave up a solo home run and struck out two in his one inning of work.

Binghamton beat the Sea Dogs 6-1 … Portland starter Chris Martin retired the first 11 batters (which he did on his last start). He went five innings (2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K). Martin left with the score 1-1 … reliever Will Latimer gave up three runs on four hits and a walk.

Matt Spring homered in his first game back from Triple-A … Kolbrin Vitek (.304) singled to extend his on-base streak to 17 … Juan Carlos Linares, who left Friday's game with a sore foot, did not play.

As for the Red Sox, their list of outfielder is growing shorter. With Jason Repko out with a "slight separation" of his left shoulder, utility man Nate Spears would be the first outfielder off the bench, if needed.

Speculation continues that the Red Sox are negotiating with the Cubs for outfielder Marlon Byrd. Pitcher Michael Bowden, recently designated for assignment, could be included in the deal.

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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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