June 5, 2013

Britton's all smiles; Dogs win

Portland's Drake Britton takes a relaxed approach and throws his best game -- a 6-0 win at Erie.

By MARK JEANNERET/Special to the Press Herald

ERIE, Pa. - Considering his performance, Drake Britton might be thinking about changing his game face in future starts.


WHO: Portland Sea Dogs (Charlie Haegar 2-2) at Erie SeaWolves (Matt Crouse 4-4)

WHEN: 7:05 p.m.

Britton tossed his best game of the season Wednesday holding the Erie SeaWolves hitless through six innings to lead the Portland Sea Dogs to a 6-0 win in an Eastern League baseball game played at Jerry Uht Park.

" It was weird," said Britton, who allowed only four balls to leave the infield. "I was more relaxed and joking around in the dugout. Usually I like to concentrate but I was just free and relaxed. It was an awesome place to be."

Britton (4-5) allowed only a second-inning walk through the first six innings against the SeaWolves, before losing his no-hitter on a double to Hernan Perez to lead off the seventh. Britton was dominant in his eight innings on the mound, facing only two over the minimum while striking out a season-high eight.

"He had command of all of his pitches, utilized a mix," said Portland Manager Kevin Boles. "He established his fastball and worked ahead in the count and I think that's what really set up the rest of his pitches."

Britton received an offensive boost early as the Sea Dogs (31-26) got off to a quick start for the second straight night. Michael Almanzar got the Dogs rolling with a solo home run off the left-field wall in the first to give Portland a 1-0 lead. It was Almanzar's team-leading 11th of the season.

"I knew in my mind that I didn't want to go in cruise control when we got that lead," said Britton, who threw 82 pitches, 62 for strikes.

"I tried to keep myself going between every inning just to stay how dominant I felt. I just kept myself in that mind-set throughout every inning."

NOTES: The Sea Dogs announced Brandon Workman was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket.

In 11 games with Portland this season, the right-hander posted a 5-1 record with a 3.43 ERA to go along with an Eastern League-leading 74 strikeouts in 652/3 innings.


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