June 21, 2012

Sea Dogs pitcher has rough outing

Drake Britton lasts just three innings, and the Harrisburg Senators wins 7-3.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - On the eve of outfielder Jackie Bradley's expected arrival to the Portland Sea Dogs, Wednesday night served as a reminder for young talent:

click image to enlarge

Tim Pahuta of Harrisburg beats the throw home as Sea Dogs catcher Dan Butler tries to block the ball in the third inning Wednesday night at Hadlock Field. The Senators won 7-3.

Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Jeremy Hazelbaker has been on a tear for the Sea Dogs, batting .292 in his last 24 games. He hit solo homers in the first and third innings Wednesday.

Staff Photographer

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WHO: Portland Sea Dogs (Chris Martin 3-4) vs. Harrisburg Senators (Rob Gilliam 1-6))

WHEN: 6 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: About 1,300  available

RADIO: WPEI, 95.9-FM, 95.5-FM

The move from Class A to Double-A can have its bumps.

Left-hander Drake Britton cruised in his first three Double-A starts. But his fourth start got bumpy in a hurry. He surrendered 10 hits and seven runs in three innings as Harrisburg topped Portland 7-3 before 4,791 at Hadlock Field.

Sea Dogs left fielder Jeremy Hazelbaker gave the home fans something to cheer about with home runs in the first and third innings.

And Portland relievers Caleb Clay and Will Latimer both recorded three shutout innings.

But the Sea Dogs were playing catch-up from the beginning.

Britton, promoted from advanced Class A Salem on June 1, gave up only two runs in his first three Double-A starts.

On Wednesday, he attacked the zone with a 95 mph fastball and the Senators were swinging.

"He's got real good stuff," said Harrisburg leadoff hitter Jeff Kobernus, who doubled on the first pitch of the game. "He throws hard. With those guys, you've got to look for your pitch and be ready to hit. You may only get one good pitch to hit."

Manager Kevin Boles was not worried about Britton (1-1).

"Just one of those things. His stuff was fine, his velocity was good," Boles said. "They ambushed him a couple of times on the first pitch. They put together a good approach against him."

As for Bradley, the outfielder who dominated in Salem with a .359 batting average, he is expected to be activated today with Portland.

After Wednesday's game, outfielder Juan Carlos Linares was told he was being promoted to Pawtucket -- which would make room for Bradley.

But it was another Sea Dogs outfielder making noise on Wednesday. Hazelbaker, 24, a fourth-round draft pick in 2009, got off to a quiet start. But he is batting .292 in his last 24 games, hitting eight of his nine homers in that span.

Portland got its third run in the fourth when Bryce Brentz doubled and later scored on a double play.

NOTES: Linares will leave Portland with a .333 average, second-best in the Eastern League. The Sea Dogs wore blue jerseys Wednesday for prostate cancer awareness Starter Anthony Ranaudo, who missed a turn in the rotation to rest, will pitch again on Saturday.

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


Twitter: ClearTheBases


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