August 11, 2013

Four-run ninth inning sends Sea Dogs to loss

Bowie rallies against Matt Maloney, and David Ross of the Red Sox appears as the Portland DH.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - The Portland Sea Dogs had two catchers in their lineup, one a big leaguer, the other who has plans to be there some day.

click image to enlarge

Matty Johnson turns in one of the best catches of the season for the Sea Dogs, leaping against the right-field fence in the third inning of a 9-6 loss to the Bowie Baysox at Hadlock.

Photos by Derek Davis/Staff Phototgrapher

click image to enlarge

Johnson shows that, yes, he does have the ball after making the catch at the top of the right-field fence.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer


WHO: Bowie Baysox (TBA) at Portland Sea Dogs (Matt Barnes 5-8)

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: Sold out

Christian Vazquez, who has a future in the major leagues, notched two RBI singles Saturday night and Red Sox catcher David Ross made an appearance as designated hitter.

Their presence was not enough. The Bowie Baysox scored four ninth-inning runs to beat the Sea Dogs 9-6 before a sold-out Hadlock Field crowd of 7,368.

Sea Dogs closer Matt Maloney entered with a 6-5 lead but gave it up, and more, on four hits and a sacrifice fly.

The Sea Dogs dropped to 57-62. Bowie is 59-59.

Ross made a rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs, batting cleanup. He grounded out twice and recorded an RBI in his two plate appearance.

"Fine. No problems at all," Ross reported. "It was nice to be back out there with a good crowd tonight.

"It's fun to play baseball. It stinks sitting at home on the couch."

Ross is on the 60-day disabled list after suffering a concussion in May, then a relapse in June. He was recently cleared to begin playing again.

Ross is scheduled to catch for Portland in Sunday's game. Then he will take Monday off and continue his rehab Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket. He can be activated Aug. 17.

Besides Vazquez,. Matty Johnson stood out for Portland, going 4 for 5, and scoring two runs. Michael Almanzar singled twice and scored twice.

Portland starter Jeremy Kehrt didn't factor in the decision despite a solid six innings.

He retired the last 10 batters he faced. Kehrt allowed four runs, one earned, but would have had a shutout if the Sea Dogs had turned a textbook double play in the third inning.

Kehrt, the Sea Dogs' reliable long reliever and spot starter, struck out four and lowered his ERA to 4.30.

Portland gave Kehrt a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Almanzar singled, advanced to third on Juan Carlos Linares' double and scored on a throwing error.

In the top of the third, Bowie had runners on first and second with one out. Seth Loman hit a hard grounder to shortstop Heiker Meneses. The double play looked all set up, but Meneses muffed the ball and Bowie had the bases loaded.

Brandon Waring and Josh Horton both recorded two-run hits for a 4-1 lead.

Ross' groundout RBI and Vazquez's first RBI single closed the score to 4-3.

Johnson tripled in the fifth and scored on Garin Cecchini's single, tying the game. Almanzar scored on a wild pitch for a 5-4 Sea Dogs lead in the sixth.

Reliever Eric Niesen gave up a run in the seventh, aided by his own throwing error.

Vazquez put Portland up again 6-5 with his seventh-inning single, scoring Johnson.

But that lead did not last, and the Sea Dogs were out of rallies. 

NOTES: Today's 1 p.m. game is officially a sellout, although there may be some returned season tickets available at the Hadlock ticket office, which opens at 9 a.m. Ticket-holders to today's game are invited to play catch in the Hadlock outfield from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: @ClearTheBases


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