May 3, 2011

Dogs get the right mix

A strong start by Michael Lee and some timely hitting help Portland put away Binghamton at Hadlock.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Michael Lee needed to calm down.

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Three Sea Dogs, from left, Che-Hsuan Lin, Jon Hee and Alex Hassan, celebrate after scoring on a double by Tim Federowicz that highlighted a five-run seventh inning Tuesday night during Portland s 8-2 win over Binghamton.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Sea Dogs second baseman Oscar Tejeda prepares to field a ground ball. Tejeda had three hits, including a three-run homer, in Portland's win.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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TODAY'S GAME

WHO: Sea Dogs (Alex Wilson 2-1) vs. Binghamton Mets (Brad Holt 0-0)

WHEN: 6 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: About 3,000 available

Oscar Tejeda simply needed to remain confident.

Lee got his pitching under control and threw six shutout innings and Tejeda's four RBI paced the Portland Sea Dogs to an 8-2 victory over the Binghamton Mets Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

Tejeda, the 21-year-old second baseman, went 3 for 4 including a three-run homer that broke a 0-0 tie in the sixth inning.

Tejeda bumped his average 40 points to .269.

"It's still early in the season," Tejeda said. "I wasn't worried. I knew it would get better."

Tim Federowicz went 2 for 5 and drove in three runs with a double to left-center. Will Middlebrooks added an RBI double.

Lee, 24, was an eighth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma City University in 2008, and has worked his way up in the system, reaching Double-A this season.

In his first two starts, Lee's command was off and his pitch count soared. He lasted a combined 62/3 thirds in the two games, giving up six earned runs.

"I just amped up for the first (two games)," Lee said. Pitching coach Bob Kipper "said to just throw a bullpen out there. Just repeat every pitch. Kind of a mental thing. Had to ignore the hitters."

On Tuesday, Lee (1-1) walked none and struck out six. He allowed a double in the third and single in the fourth. Mixing his fastball, slider and change-up, Lee needed only 72 pitches (48 strikes).

"He's got good stuff and today he put it all together," catcher Ryan Lavarnway said. "He was throwing all three pitches for strikes down in the zone."

Binghamton starter Mark Cahoon (1-1) entered with a 0.47 ERA and held Portland scoreless through 52/3 innings. But a double by Lavarnway and walk to Middlebrooks brought up Tejeda with two outs in the sixth.

He crushed a 1-1 fastball over the left- field wall.

"That was a big situation there," Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. "We've been struggling with runners in scoring position, but Oscar got a pitch he could drive."

The Mets' bullpen gave up five in the seventh inning, highlighted by Federowicz's double that skidded between the fielders in left-center.

Alex Hassan went 2 for 4 with a walk, upping his average to .414 and his on-base percentage to 492.

Utility infielder Jon Hee played first base and kept up his hot start, going 1 for 3. He is batting .417 (5 for 12).

NOTES: A familiar face was on the mound throwing batting practice for Binghamton before Tuesday's game. Ellsworth native Dickie Scott, the New York Mets new minor league field director, was in town to take a look at the Double-A team. Scott held the same position for the Houston Astros last year. The first 1,000 fans through the Hadlock Field gates today will receive a Jon Lester bobblehead doll. The gates open at 4:30 p.m. The announced paid attendance Tuesday was 3,690.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: kthomas@pressherald.com

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