Thursday, December 5, 2013
By DAVID DRIVER Special to the Press Herald
BOWIE, Md. - The Portland Sea Dogs don't want to hear talk of a team slump. And Manager Kevin Boles has no plans to have a team meeting for hitters before tonight's game in Richmond.
WHO: Portland Sea Dogs (Drake Britton 1-0) at Richmond Flying Squirrels (Justin Fitzgerald 3-5)
WHEN: 6:35 p.m.
WHERE: The Diamond
Some may push the panic button, but Boles plans to stay the course after his team had just one hit -- a single by Matt Spring in the second inning -- in a 2-0 loss Thursday to Bowie.
The Baysox swept the three-game series, shutting out Portland for the second straight game. The Dogs have not scored in 21 innings.
The Sea Dogs (27-38) have lost four in a row, five straight on the road.
"It's two games. Tomorrow is a new day," said Boles, sitting in his office after the Sea Dogs went down in just 2:13 before a crowd of 3,958. "We trust our hitters. We faced tough pitchers the last two nights. You have to give them credit."
Bowie lefty starter Jacob Pettit (4-0) allowed one hit with five strikeouts in five innings and Mike Belfiore and Greg Burke combined to shut down the Sea Dogs. The last 16 Portland batters were retired.
"He (Pettit) was using his fastball. Offensively we did not get the job done tonight," said Peter Hissey, a center fielder who was hitless in three at-bats. "We will get our work in. We ran into a good arm tonight."
"He did a good job of keeping us off balance," Spring said of Pettit. Hissey and Spring said the team is not in a slump.
Boles said of Pettit: "He was able to command his fastball. He has a real good feel for a change- up. He showed a lot of poise."
The Sea Dogs wasted a strong outing by lefty pitcher Chris Hernandez (3-6), who gave up six hits and two runs with two walks in six innings.
"He pitched very well tonight," Boles said. "He did his part. He pitched out of a couple of jams."
Bowie took a 1-0 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly to left by Rhyne Hughes that scored Allan de San Miguel, who led off with a walk.
The Baysox made it 2-0 in the fifth as Manny Machado had a two-out single to score Antoan Richardson, who led off with a bunt single.
Hernandez got a break in the fourth when Buck Britton was thrown out at third by center fielder Hissey following a hit and run single by Zelous Wheeler.
Bryan Johns joined the Sea Dogs on Thursday and was in the lineup at second base and was hitless in three at-bats. He was promoted from low Class A Greenville, where he hit .243 in 144 at-bats. He was signed as a nondrafted free agent from Vanderbilt in July 2011.
To make room on the roster for Johns, Portland put infielder Derrik Gibson on the temporary inactive list, Boles said.
Nick Natoli started at shortstop for Portland.
NOTES: The Sea Dogs got their first grand slam of the year, from Bryce Brentz, in the sixth inning Tuesday and have not scored since ...
Zach Gentile made his first start at third this year and made a throwing error in the second but then turned in some nice plays.