May 27, 2011

Dogs are 'below average in every phase' in loss

Portland's string of losses reaches 21 in the last 26 games with a 13-7 setback to New Hampshire.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - The losing continued Thursday night. The Portland Sea Dogs fell 13-7 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Hadlock Field.

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Right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang of the Portland Sea Dogs just misses coming up with a shallow fly ball Thursday night during the 13-7 loss to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Second baseman Oscar Tejada throws to first after forcing Mark Sobolewski of New Hampshire in the fifth inning of the Sea Dogs’ 13-7 loss Thursday night at Hadlock Field.

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WHO: Trenton Thunder (Manny Banuelos 0-1) at Portland Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimental 0-6)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: About 2,500 available

Looking for something positive? Portland (13-30) scored four runs on six hits over the last two innings to show some life.

But the Sea Dogs lost their third straight and are 5-21 in their last 26 games.

The players know there's no magic button.

"There really isn't," outfielder Alex Hassan said. "We just have to keep grinding and remember it's a long year and a lot can change."

Hassan, batting .351, was 2 for 5 with an RBI. Ryan Lavarnway paced Portland with two hits, including a solo home run in the eighth. Chih-Hsien Chiang had two RBI on a sacrifice fly and a groundout. Tim Federowicz had two hits with an RBI.

But the Sea Dogs were outhit 16-10 and struck out 13 times. In the field, Portland committed five errors, one short of the team record.

"Below average in every phase of the game," Manager Kevin Boles said. "I'll give our guys credit for fighting back late in the game. We have to keep working. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to get tough."

Miguel Gonzalez (0-2) started Thursday, returning from Pawtucket to replace the injured Brock Huntzinger.

Gonzalez, 27, was a Rule V draft pick from the Angels in 2008 and underwent Tommy John surgery in 2009. He pitched in Salem last year and has bounced around this season.

Gonzalez's night fell short by a lack of defense (two unearned runs) and control (four walks, two hit batters). He left after 32/3 innings, reaching an 87-pitch count. He allowed five runs.

Reliever Kyle Fernandes gave up four runs in the fifth as the Fisher Cats (30-16) took a 9-3 lead. The defense didn't help. Second baseman Oscar Tejeda misplayed a fly ball into a single.

NOTES: Lavarnway's home run, high over the left-field wall, was his team-leading eighth. ... Jeremy Hazelbaker stole second base in the first inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch. It was his third stolen base in six games. ... Fernandes came in and threw strikes (only nine balls out of 47 pitches). ... The announced paid attendance was 4,535. ... A couple of schedule reminders: Tonight's game begins at 7 p.m., the new time for most weeknight games. Saturday's action still begins at 1 p.m. but it will be a doubleheader. ... Trenton, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, comes to town for a five-game series. The Thunder are 27-18. Tonight matches two of the organizations' most promising pitchers, with Stolmy Pimentel (the Red Sox's No. 6 prospect, according to Baseball America) going against Manny Banuelos (the Yankees' No. 4). ... Two former Portland outfielders were on the move with Josh Reddick promoted to Boston and Daniel Nava clearing waivers and returning to Pawtucket.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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Additional Photos

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Jeremy Hazelbaker of the Portland Sea Dogs reaches second base with a steal as the ball skips past Callix Crabbe, the second baseman for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.


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