Wednesday, December 11, 2013
PORTLAND - The Portland Sea Dogs mobbed Marquez Smith after his game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday night.
But Smith knew who should share in the honors after the Sea Dogs topped Erie 2-1 before 6,085 at Hadlock Field.
"Our pitchers battled all game," Smith said. "It was nice to get that win for them."
Sea Dogs starter Stolmy Pimentel allowed one run over six innings, and Chris Martin and Michael Olmsted (1-0) added scoreless relief.
In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and the score 1-1, Zach Gentile kept the inning alive by beating out an infield single. Jackie Bradley Jr. then walked, bringing up Smith.
Erie reliever Ryan Robowski threw a change-up. Smith went the other way with it, shooting a single to right-center that easily scored Gentile.
"Just trying to use the middle of the field," Smith said. "Luckily I got a pitch I could do something with. It was pretty exciting."
Portland (52-62) is 16-8 since the All-Star break. During that stretch the bullpen has a 2.84 ERA.
"They have attacked with their fastball and are getting ahead in the count," Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. "And we have guys with off-speed stuff to finish hitters."
Olmsted, who hasn't allowed a run in his seven innings with Portland, pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Pimentel had a nice rebound from his last start (four runs in one-third of an inning) -- a blip after five solid outings.
On Saturday, Pimentel's fastball zipped in at 96 mph. He got into jams, allowing five hits and five walks, but pitched out of them. He used only 80 pitches in the six innings.
It was Pimentel's eighth quality start (at least six innings, three or fewer earned runs), which leads the team.
"When you have a bad start, you want (do well in) the next one to make you feel confident," Pimentel said. "No matter what, you have to keep working."
The only run off Pimentel came in the second on an infield single, a stolen base and an RBI single.
The Sea Dogs tied the game in the fifth. Back-to-back singles by Ryan Dent and Gentile, and a fielding error loaded the bases, and shortstop Niuman Romero couldn't make a play on Jeremy Hazelbaker's hard grounder.
NOTES: Red Sox reliever Andrew Bailey is scheduled to pitch for the Sea Dogs on a rehab assignment Sunday. Pitcher Jason Urquidez was taken off the temporarily inactive list. He has a 2.76 ERA in nine games. After two starts, he is expected to rejoin the bullpen to replace the promoted Josh Fields. Ticket-holders to today's game can play catch on the field from 10 to 11:15 a.m. With their second straight win over Erie, the Sea Dogs have won 10 of their last 11 series at home.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: