Friday August 31, 2012 | 06:11 AM

The Portland Sea Dogs have talent, and now more of that is being exported - to Pawtucket.

When the Sea Dogs surprisingly climbed back into contention in the Eastern League, some players who may have been given a chance in Triple-A earlier this month stayed in Portland.

Now that the Sea Dogs are out of the playoff chase, three players have been sent to Pawtucket this past week - outfielders Jeremy Hazelbaker and Bryce Brentz, and reliever Brock Huntzinger. They are also bolstering a PawSox team that is one game away from clinching an International League playoff berth.

Those three players follow five others who were promoted (and not just sent up to fill in temporarily) this year:

Starters Billy Buckner and Chris Hernandez, reliever Josh Fields, catcher Dan Butler and outfielder Juan Carlos Linares. (Infielder Ryan Dent is also with Triple-A, but that appears more of a filling-in role; Dent could be back in Portland next year. The others are expected to begin next season with Pawtucket).

For the first time in a few years, the Sea Dogs did not see a player begin the year in Portland and make it to the majors (ala Jonathan Papelbon, Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Ryan Lavarnway, Tommy Hottovy and others).

The Sea Dogs still have a talented group, especially with recent imports from Class A Salem.

Portland finishes its season with four home games this weekend, starting tonight at 7 p.m.

One note on Masterson. He took the loss for the Indians on Thursday, against Oakland, and is now 10-12 with a 4.91 ERA. He gave up 8 earned runs in 4 innings, including a home run from fellow Sea Dogs alum Josh Reddick (his 27th).



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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