Thursday, April 24, 2014
PORTLAND - Bryce Brentz is the muscular Portland Sea Dogs right fielder who could be the right-handed slugger the Red Sox need in the future.
An inning after he helped forced extra innings with a home run, Bryce Brentz earned a hero’s welcome with an RBI single that gave the Sea Dogs a 4-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in Game 1 of a doubleheader Friday. Portland also won Game 2, 3-1.
Carl D. Walsh/Staff Photographer
Reynaldo Rodriguez is mobbed by teammates after scoring the winning run on Bryce Brentz’s single in the eighth inning of Game 1.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimentel 2-4) vs. N.H. Fisher Cats (Chad Jenkins 4-8)
WHEN: 6 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
TICKETS: About 1,700 remain
He knows when to go for the fences -- like when he crushed an outside slider over the left-field Maine Monster in a seventh-inning rally Friday.
And Brentz knows when to go with the pitch -- like when he poked an outside curveball into right field for a walk-off RBI single in the eighth inning, giving the Sea Dogs a 4-3 win over New Hampshire in Game 1 of a doubleheader before 5,199 at Hadlock Field.
Dan Butler also homered in the first game.
In Game 2, Brentz hit another homer -- his 12th -- and Jeremy Hazelbaker hit his 11th home run in a 3-1 win.
Game 1 featured pitcher Chris Carpenter in a rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs. Carpenter, 26, is one of two pitchers the Red Sox received (along with Sea Dogs reliever Aaron Kurcz) from the Chicago Cubs as compensation for General Manager Theo Epstein.
Carpenter, who reached the majors last year with 10 appearances for the Cubs, began this season on the disabled list after undergoing elbow surgery to remove a bone spur. Friday was his fifth rehab appearance, his first in Double-A.
On a strict pitch count, Carpenter threw two innings. He allowed a run in the first inning on an infield single and a Kenen Bailli triple but retired the last five batters he faced, three by strikeout.
"Took me a couple of batters to settle in," said Carpenter, whose fastball reached 95 mph. "Just trying to get my confidence back, and my command back."
Chris Balcom-Miller relieved Carpenter and threw a bullpen-saving five innings (four hits, two runs, one earned, four strikeouts).
Reynaldo Rodriguez had two doubles and a triple. His RBI double put Portland on the board in the fourth.
With the Sea Dogs down 3-1 in the seventh, Brentz and Butler ruined a solid start by Deck McGuire, forcing extra innings with back-to-back home runs over the Monster, on a slider and then a fastball.
Rodriguez led off the eighth with a triple. Brentz came up next, thinking sacrifice fly, but was able to poke a grounder through the drawn-in infield.
"Tonight might be what I need to get going, said Brentz, who was batting .190 in July.
Chorye Spoone (2-1) picked up the win with a 1-2-3 eighth.
Jeremy Kehrt (3-3) allowed one unearned run over five innings for the win in Game 2. Caleb Clay retired the final six batters for his sixth save.
NOTES: In Game 1, New Hampshire had Ryan Goins on third base and Jake Marisnick on second with one out in the fifth, but a bizarre double play ended the threat. After a grounder, Goins got caught in a rundown between third and home. Marisnick ran to third base while Goins returned to third. Butler, Portland's catcher, tagged both runners. Marisnick was called out, but Goins also stepped off the bag. Fisher Cats Manager Sal Fasano pulled Goins back onto the base -- and Goins was automatically called out for being assisted by a coach.
Rodriguez re-aggravated his right-hand injury during his last at-bat of Game 1 and was scratched from Game 2.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:
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Sea Dogs catcher Dan Butler tags Ryan Goins, left, and Jake Marisnick of the Fisher Cats after both runners ended up on third base following a rundown. Marisnick was out initially, and Goins also was called out because of coach’s interference after he left the base.