July 11, 2013

Sea Dogs' stars fizzle in loss

Three batters go 1 for 5 and Anthony Ranaudo allows three runs in a 5-0 EL All-Star game loss.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - After a wild Anthony Ranaudo put the East Division into a hole, the West held on for a 5-0 victory in the Eastern League All-Star game at New Britain Stadium Wednesday night.

Ranaudo, one of four Portland Sea Dogs players in the game, gave up three runs in the first inning.

Michael Almanzar started at third base and played the whole game. He went 1 for 2 with a single. He was also hit by a pitch.

Christian Vazquez and Matt Spring served as the East's two catchers. Vazquez started and went 0 for 2. Spring was 0 for 1.

Ranaudo, the Sea Dogs' ace (8-2, 2.67 ERA), started for the East, but could not find his command, leaving several fastballs up. After walking the first two batters on 10 pitches, Ranaudo grooved a fastball to Javier Herrera. He crushed it over the center-field wall for a 3-0 West lead.

"Maybe a little bit amped up," Ranaudo said. "I was trying to have fun out there and didn't do a good job of attacking the zone."

After walking the next batter, Ranaudo settled down. He got two flyouts and then finished by striking out Mark Minicozzi.

"I made some adjustments, so that was good," Ranaudo said.

Ranaudo has one more All-Star game to pitch in, Sunday in the Major League Futures Game in New York.

Herrera, 28, a one-time A's prospect, resurrected his career in the independent leagues and is now in the Giants' system. He was voted the game's MVP.

The West added two runs in the fourth. The West outhit the East 6-5.

Almanzar worked a full count before lining a single to left in the second inning. He popped out to first base in the fourth, and was hit in the hip by a pitch in the seventh.

Vazquez grounded out to the pitcher and popped up to the first baseman.

Spring entered the game in the sixth inning. He flied out to right field in his only at-bat.

WILL LATIMER was supposed to be in New Britain Wednesday, but the Red Sox decided they needed Latimer in Triple-A. Instead heading to Connecticut, Latimer was sent to Allentown, Pa., for Pawtucket's game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

ALMANZAR TOOK part in the home run derby on Tuesday but, like most of the contestants, did not hit one out. Bowie's Caleb Joseph won the derby with four home runs. Almanzar leads Portland with 11 home runs.

CHARLIE ESHBACH, the Portland Sea Dogs' president, was honored before the game for his 40 years of service in minor league baseball, almost all of it with the Eastern League.

Eshbach, a University of Connecticut graduate in 1974, took a job that year as assistant general manager of the Elmira Red Sox in the New York-Penn League. He became general manager of the Bristol Red Sox (the team that is now in New Britain) the next year, and took over as league president in 1981, before heading the Sea Dogs' franchise in 1993.

Eshbach was presented an Eastern League All-Star jersey with the No. 40 on the back.

THE ALL-STARS from Portland will leave New Britain Thursday morning to meet their teammates in Binghamton, N.Y. for a long series against the Mets. The teams begin at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, completing a game that was suspended June 25 in Portland after two innings because of rain. A seven-inning game will follow.

The teams are also playing a doubleheader on Saturday, because of a rainout on June 26 in Portland.

Portland will not only be without Latimer. Outfielder Juan Carlos Linares and pitcher Charlie Haeger were promoted to Pawtucket. Haeger started Wednesday (nine runs in 5 2/3 innings).

Pitcher Jeremy Kehrt returned from Pawtucket to Portland. The Sea Dogs may get an outfielder from Class A Salem (Brandon Jacobs is playing well).

The Sea Dogs return to Hadlock Field next Thursday.

NEW BRITAIN HOSTED the All-Star game for the first time since 2003. That was the first year of the Sea Dogs-Red Sox affiliation. Five Portland players took part in that 2003 game -- infielder Kevin Youkilis, catcher Kelly Shoppach, outfielder Jeremy Owens, and pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Stevens. Youkilis, Shoppach and De La Rosa reached the majors. Owens is still playing in the independent Atlantic League.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

 

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