Friday, March 7, 2014
By ALLEN LESSELS Special to the Press Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Goodbye.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Keith Couch 5-2) vs. Thunder (Sean Black 1-1)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
The Sea Dogs pounded four Fisher Cat pitchers for 17 hits and Anthony Ranaudo picked up his eighth win in a 13-5 leaving-town triumph at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Sunday.
The Sea Dogs had their second-best offensive game of the season, second only to the 18 hits they put up in a 15-4 win against New Hampshire here on May 16. That was a getaway day, too.
"We were able to work some counts a little bit today and we got a couple of pitches elevated," said Manager Kevin Boles. "The offense did a terrific job today."
Portland also had 17 hits in an 11-0 win at Trenton a week ago. That was the day the team left town as well.
The Sea Dogs fell to .500 for the first time since April 19 with a 5-4 loss in the series opener on Thursday night.
They bounced back nicely with wins on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon for their first three-game winning streak since late May.
The offensive contributions came from throughout the lineup.
Travis Shaw had a towering grand slam in the sixth inning and five runs batted in overall. J.C. Linares came on in the fourth inning for Shannon Wilkerson, who tweaked his leg on the basepaths, and had three hits. So did Ryan Dent out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order.
Tony Thomas had a three-run homer in the fifth and knocked in four runs and Garin Cecchini, Michael Almanzar, Shaw and Matt Spring each had a pair of hits.
The prolific hitting lifted Ranaudo, who struck out the first two batters and the last two batters he faced.
But in between, he had to work hard for the win. He allowed a season-high nine hits and the five earned runs he gave up were second to the seven he allowed at Erie on June 4.
"It's going to happen," Ranaudo said.
"You're not going to go out there and have your best stuff every time. It's a crazy game. You've just got to keep on an even keel and not get too high or too low."
The Sea Dogs scored at least two runs in four of the first five innings, highlighted by a six-run fourth inning that featured Shaw's slam. All the runs were unearned in the inning because of a Fisher Cat error that opened the inning.
They got a pair of runs with two outs in the first.
Cecchini started it with a two-out single and Wilkerson was hit by a Matt Gagne pitch. Almanzar doubled to left to score Cecchini.
Wilkerson scored on a single by Shaw to right field and Almanzar was cut down at the plate as he tried to score from second on the play.
Kevin Ahrens hit a two-run home run and New Hampshire came up with three runs total off Ranaudo to take the lead in the second.
Not a problem.
Portland responded with two runs in the third, including a Peter Hissey homer to right field, and then exploded for the six in the fourth to go in front 10-3.
"Shaw and Hissey both took real good swings on the home runs," Boles said.
And the rout was on.