June 10, 2011

Dogs victimized by a bad inning

Starter Alex Wilson struggles with his control and Richmond takes advantage to win a series finale.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - In a duel between two prime pitching prospects at Hadlock Field, one pitcher's wild inning cost him.

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Justin Christian of the Flying Squirrels slides safely into home as Sea Dogs pitcher Alex Wilson awaits a late throw from catcher Ryan Lavarnway in Richmond’s 7-2 victory.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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TODAY'S GAME

WHO: Bowie Baysox (Chorye Spoon, 0-3) at Portland Sea Dogs (Chris Balcom-Miller, 1-1)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: 2,000 available

Alex Wilson walked two batters and threw a wild pitch in a three-run third inning as the Richmond Flying Squirrels left town Thursday night after a 7-2 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs.

Richmond left-hander Eric Surkamp (4-3) held the Sea Dogs to one run and five hits over six innings, striking out six.

Surkamp, the No. 2 pitching prospect in the pitching-rich San Francisco Giants organization, lowered his Eastern League-leading ERA to 1.88.

"He was outstanding," Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. "Fastball command, a plus breaking ball and he's athletic. Very impressive."

Wilson (5-4, 2.98) had his roughest start in a while: five hits and four runs over five innings. It was the first time Wilson had allowed more than two earned runs in a game since April 20.

Wilson's slider did not look crisp and his mid-90's fastball was off.

"He didn't have a feel for his off-speed and he left some fastballs up in the zone," Boles said. "He looked like he was fighting the feel for his slider all night."

Wilson retired the first two batters he faced before allowing three ground-ball singles for a 1-0 Richmond lead.

Portland got three of its five hits against Surkamp in the first inning, with Ryan Lavarnway singling in Jeremy Hazelbaker.

Wilson walked Justin Christian to begin the third. He stole second base and then scored on a two-base wild pitch that bounced off Lavarnway's shinguard toward the Richmond dugout.

Another walk and another stolen base followed. Johnny Monell singled in a run and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly giving Richmond a 4-1 lead.

Reliever Jeremy Kehrt gave up three runs over two innings and the rout was on. Miguel Gonzalez walked one over two shutout innings.

Richmond, which was shut out by Portland pitching in the first game of this series, rebounded with 23 hits and 16 runs over the past two games, making a nice homecoming for Portland native and Richmond hitting coach Ken Joyce.

The Sea Dogs got their final run when Chih-Hsien Chiang led off the ninth with a triple and scored on Jon Hee's groundout.

Portland dropped to 20-38, and Richmond improved to 29-30.

NOTES: Chiang went 2 for 4 and now has hit safely in 18 of his last 20 games, going 31 for 79 (.392). With the return of reliever Blake Maxwell to Triple-A Pawtucket, the Sea Dogs' roster is one player short. One of two starters, Stolmy Pimentel or Michael Lee, is expected to be activated from the disabled list for Saturday's game. Thursday's announced paid attendance was 4,180.

John Boles, once a frequent visitor to Hadlock Field as the Florida Marlins' farm director, is back in town this week. Boles, a member of the Sea Dogs Hall of Fame, is currently a special assistant to the Seattle Mariners' general manager. He also is the father of the Sea Dogs' manager, Kevin Boles.

Former Sea Dogs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, traded to San Diego in the Adrian Gonzalez deal, was scheduled to make his major league debut with the Padres late Thursday night.

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

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

 

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