Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Special to the Press Herald
READING, Pa. - The Portland Sea Dogs seem to be running into the Reading Phillies at the wrong time.
After a sluggish opening six weeks, the Phillies have finally sprung to life. For the second straight night they got outstanding pitching and timely hitting, beating the Sea Dogs 6-0 in an Eastern League game at FirstEnergy Stadium.
One night after Yohan Flande took a shutout into the seventh inning against the Sea Dogs, right-hander Drew Naylor (4-4) went all the way, throwing a three-hit shutout.
Naylor, 23, had a rough introduction to Double-A in April but has been a different pitcher in May. He won for the third time in five starts this month and lowered his ERA in May to 2.33.
Naylor pitched his best game of the year, allowing just three singles and no walks. He retired the final 16 batters, faced just three over the limit and needed 111 pitches.
Portland got singles from Nate Spears and Ray Chang with one out in the first, then just one more the rest of the way, from Anthony Rizzo in the fourth.
The Sea Dogs (23-21) have lost 9 of 13 and probably can't wait to get out of Reading, even though they're only halfway through a four-game series. After winning here on opening day they have lost five straight in Reading.
Portland right-hander Kyle Weiland (0-4) had unusual control problems, walking five over 42/3 innings. He hadn't walked more than three this season.
The walks didn't hurt until the third, when he walked three -- two of them scoring.
After Quintin Berry drew a one-out walk, Weiland fired an errant pickoff throw to first, sending Berry to second.
Michael Spidale scored him with a single up the middle.
Spidale was thrown out trying to steal but Domonic Brown drew a walk and Tagg Bozied followed with a two-run homer for a 3-0 lead.
The Phillies (19-25) didn't score again until the eighth when Brown hit his second straight triple and Matt Rizzotti and Ozzie Chavez had RBI singles.