Friday, December 6, 2013
By ALLEN LESSELS Special to the Press Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Sea Dogs gave up eight runs in the first inning.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Drake Britton 1-3) at New Hampshire Fisher Cats (TBA)
WHEN: 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Northeast Delta Dental Stadium
No big deal.
Portland scored a pair of runs on three straight hits in the 11th inning to finish off a rousing comeback with a 10-9 win over the Fisher Cats on Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The Sea Dogs needed a three-run homer from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the top of the eighth to get it to extra innings.
"That was amazing," said Portland Manager Kevin Boles. "This group has done this all year. No matter what the score is, they just keep fighting back."
The Sea Dogs are 8-2 since the Eastern League All-Star break.
Dan Butler, who scored the winning run on Thursday night, knocked in the go-ahead run on Friday. Reynaldo Rodriguez and Butler hit back-to-back, two-out doubles. Butler then scored on Peter Hissey's single and Portland led 10-8.
They needed the insurance run.
The Fisher Cats got one back off Brock Huntzinger in the bottom of the 11th, and had runners on first and second with two outs. Huntzinger got Jake Marisnick to pop out to Rodriguez at first to end the game.
Josh Fields led an impressive relief effort for the Sea Dogs and earned the win with three hitless innings.
Sea Dog relievers allowed one hit over the middle nine innings.
"The offense really stuck with it and they battled and scrapped," Fields said. "The relievers battled and gave the team a chance to come back. We kind of fed off each other."
Bradley's line shot to left-center in the top of the eighth came off Chorye Spoone, who was a Sea Dog last week. Released by the Red Sox on Sunday, he signed with the Blue Jays' organization on Friday.
Spoone came on with an 8-5 lead for the eighth. Derrik Gibson walked to open the inning and Ryan Dent singled to left. With a full count, Bradley fouled off a couple of pitches and then drilled his homer.
The Fisher Cats spotted the Sea Dogs a couple of runs in the top of the first.
They got those, and plenty more, back in their half of the inning.
Portland starter Will Latimer, just down from Pawtucket, had all sorts of problems. He allowed seven runs on five hits -- the big blow a grand slam by Brian Van Kirk -- and walked two. John Tolisano's sacrifice fly to center scored Brian Bocock and that was it for Latimer.
The Fisher Cats got to reliever Jason Urquidez for two more hits and another run. New Hampshire sent 11 batters to the plate.
"For our relievers to be able to settle in after that first inning was impressive," Boles said. "It was pretty tough."
Down 8-2, the Sea Dogs immediately started chipping away with single runs in the second, fifth and sixth.
That made it 8-5 and Bradley Jr. took care of the rest of the deficit in the eighth.
NOTES: Latimer swapped spots with Chris Hernandez. Hernandez went up to Pawtucket and Latimer joined the Sea Dogs. Roger Clemens was in the house and pitched a round of batting practice for the Sea Dogs. His son, Koby, rejoined the Fisher Cats on Tuesday.