Thursday, December 12, 2013
PORTLAND - With two runners on and two outs in the seventh inning, Jeremy Hazelbaker quickly fell behind 0-2 in the count.
Oscar Tejeda of the Portland Sea Dogs is welcomed by Dan Butler after hitting a solo home run in the second inning Friday night. Portland went on to beat the Richmond Flying Squirrels 4-1 at Hadlock Field.
Photos by Tim Greenway/Staff Photographer
Anthony Ranaudo, the starting pitcher Friday night for the Portland Sea Dogs, allowed one run on seven hits in five innings while showing better control of his curve and change-up. “It’s starting to come together,” Ranaudo said after the 4-1 win over Richmond.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Chris Hernandez 2-5) vs. Richmond Flying Squirrels (Justin Fitzgerald 3-4)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 2,500 available
He fouled the third pitch. Same with the fourth.
The fifth was the charm. The left-handed Hazelbaker turned on a change-up and launched it into the video board, high above the right center-field fence. His three-run blast gave the Portland Sea Dogs a 4-1 victory Friday night over the Richmond Flying Squirrels at Hadlock Field.
Hazelbaker had good timing; rain and lighting arrived in the next inning, halting the game and giving Portland an abbreviated win.
Hazelbaker was also getting his timing down after seeing fastballs and change-ups from reliever Jake Dunning (1-1).
"He threw me a change-up inside and I pulled that," Hazelbaker said of the fourth pitch. "Then he threw another change-up and I put a pretty good swing on it."
Oscar Tejeda had previously put the Sea Dogs on the board with a solo home run to left-center in the second inning.
Reliever Aaron Kurcz (2-2) got the victory with two shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Sea Dogs starter Anthony Ranaudo lasted five innings, allowing one run on seven hits and three walks, striking out four.
His fastball ranged from 90 to 93 mph with better control of his curve and change-up.
"It's starting to come together," Ranaudo said.
Ranaudo (5.84 ERA) gave up at least one hit in each inning but didn't get in trouble until he began issuing walks. Richmond loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth on a single and two walks before Ranaudo got a groundout.
In the fifth, Ranaudo began with a walk of Daniel Mayora, who stole second. Mayora went to third on a single and scored on a sacrifice fly by Juan Ciriaco, the brother of Pawtucket infielder Pedro Ciriaco. That tied the game 1-1.
Richmond left-hander Mike Kickham (3.12) showed why the Giants are high on his potential. He limited the Sea Dogs to one run on four hits and two walks, striking out six in six innings.
Kickham showed off a plus fastball and slider. But Tejeda got hold of a 92 mph fastball and swatted it for his fourth home run of the season.
Dunning relieved Kickham and got two quick outs in the seventh.
Nick Natoli and Heiker Meneses kept the inning alive with singles, bringing Hazelbaker to the plate.
The blast was his sixth home run of the season.
NOTES: Outfielder Bryce Brentz sat out a second straight game but is healthy, according to Manager Kevin Boles. He said Brentz would be in the lineup today. ... Reliever/spot starter Jeremy Kehrt was sent down to Salem to help the advanced Class A team, which has four games in two days. ... Portland native Ken Joyce returned to town as the Richmond hitting coach. Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen was in attendance Friday. ... The announced paid attendance was 4,319. ... Shannon Wilkerson stole his second base in two attempts with Portland. He had been 16 of 16 with Salem.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:
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Nick Natoli of the Sea Dogs unleashes a throw to first after fielding a grounder at third base. The Sea Dogs and Richmond play again tonight at Hadlock.