May 21, 2013

Sea Dogs enjoying Spring time

Catcher Matt Spring keeps delivering in the clutch, belting a three-run double in a 5-3 win at Hadlock.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Matt Spring is known for his catching and his character. He is someone a team wants working with its pitchers, while keeping everyone loose in the clubhouse.

click image to enlarge

Brandon Workman pitched five innings for Portland, allowing three runs on five hits while striking out six.

Photos by Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Portland’s Shannon Wilkerson rips a leadoff double against the Manchester Fisher Cats on Tuesday at Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs went on to win, 5-3.

Additional Photos Below


WHO: Sea Dogs (Matt Barnes 3-1) vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Ryan Tepera (4-3))

WHEN: 6 p.m.

WHERE: Hadlock Field

TICKETS: 3,000 available

The bat has been a bonus these days.

Spring hit a two-out, three-run double off the left field wall in the seventh inning to give the Portland Sea Dogs a 5-3 comeback win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

The other big hit came on Michael Almanzar's eighth home run, a two-run blast in the first inning.

Keith Couch (2-1) pitched three hitless relief innings for the win. Brock Huntzinger pitched a one-hit ninth for his ninth save.

Sea Dogs starter Brandon Workman did not have his best command and pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out six. Workman left after giving up a lead-off double in the sixth.

Spring came up with bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Portland down 3-2. He worked a full count against reliever Tyson Brummet.

"Obviously I'm looking for a fastball, to put something in play," Spring said.

He did.

Spring, 28, a backup catcher who was not activated at the start of the season, has played only 12 games, but is batting .304 with 17 RBI (and five home runs). He enjoyed a walk-off grand slam last week.

"The at-bats have been spotty, but he keeps himself ready," said Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles, who values Spring in several ways.

"The leadership quality in the clubhouse. He's loose, relaxed, upbeat. He's a leader. And the pitchers love throwing to him."

When Spring was in the Rays organization, he was often moved around to catch Tampa Bay's best prospects, like David Price, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore.

In his third season with the Red Sox, Spring makes the best use of his playing time.

"Just try to do my best. I'm not trying to be anything I'm not," Spring said. "Just having fun. If you're not having fun, you're wasting your time."

NOTES: Outfield Peter Hissey went on the disabled list with a strained right groin muscle. Outfielder Matty Johnson was called up from Salem and played right field Tuesday night. He was 1 for 4.

Tuesday's announced paid attendance was 2,415.

Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales will make his second rehab start for the Sea Dogs Thursday in their 11 a.m. game. Morales, coming back from a lower-back strain has also pitched for Pawtucket (twice) and Salem while on the disabled list. Thursday's scheduled starter, Anthony Ranaudo, will now pitch Friday in Binghamton.

Tickets go on sale today at noon online ( for the Sea Dogs' game at Fenway Park on July 27.

Reliever Daniel Bard has not appeared in a game since walking five of eight batters on May 15. He keeps working in the bullpen. Boles said there is no timetable for his return to game action.

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

Twitter: ClearTheBases


Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors

Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

Michael Almanzar gets a high-five from Sea Dog teammate Shannon Wilkerson after his two-run, first-inning homer – Almanzar’s eighth of the season.


Further Discussion

Here at we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)



Clearing the Bases - Yesterday
Pitching, pitching, pitching

More PPH Blogs

Winter sports 2013-2014

High School Football 2013

Fall sports photos