Thursday, December 5, 2013
By ALLEN LESSELS/Special to the Press Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. — Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles expects his team to get right back at it tonight in two seven-inning games against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
SEA DOGS DOUBLEHEADER
WHO: Portland Sea Dogs (Chris Hernandez 2-3 and Billy Buckner 2-3) at New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Deck McGuire 2-5 and Yohan Pino 3-1)
WHEN: 6:05 p.m. today
WHERE: Northeast Delta Dental Stadium
The Fisher Cats shut Portland down with a three-pitcher no-hitter Monday night, led by Brett Cecil, who won 15 games for Toronto two years ago.
No, Boles said after Tuesday night's game was rained out and reset as part of a doubleheader tonight, he doesn't think there will be any no-hitter hangover.
"It's old news," Boles said. "Old news. We're ready to go."
The Sea Dogs were hitting and scoring going into Monday night's game. They put up 16 runs on 32 hits in a three-game set against Binghamton at Hadlock Field over the weekend and averaged just over 10 hits a game over their last seven.
Monday, they were no-hit for the first time since 2006, and second time ever in nine innings.
The Sea Dogs had climbed back from a 7-20 start and are 8-8 in their last 16 games.
But they have lost three straight again, and with a 15-28 record and with New Hampshire at 17-25, the teams have the two worst records in the Eastern League.
Chris Hernandez and Billy Buckner, Portland's two most consistent starters, go tonight and will try to keep the streak from getting any longer.
"Both those guys have done a great job," Boles said. "They both induce contact and there's no fear of the strike zone. They go right after hitters and keep our defense involved. They keep a real good pace and tempo."
Both are 2-3. Hernandez has a 2.64 ERA; Buckner is at 3.53.
"Chris Hernandez is a tremendous worker," said Portland pitching coach Bob Kipper. "He's not a guy who's going to overwhelm you with fancy stuff, but he's a guy who knows what he needs to do. He knows he needs to go out and command the strike zone, and he knows he needs to introduce a mix, and when he's out there he does exactly that. I love the way this guy goes about his business."
Buckner spent parts of four seasons in the majors but hasn't been there since 2010.
"He had elbow surgery in September, and had bone chips removed and his development is a progression," Kipper said. "I think Billy Buckner really feels that he's healthy right now. He's doing things now that he was not capable of doing last year."
CHRIS MARTIN was re-evaluated, and will be looked at again today. Martin left Monday night's game after catching a spike on the mound. "He's feeling better," Boles said. "It just jolted him a little bit on the left side." After an 0-for-4 night Monday, Bryce Brentz is still hitting .400 (26 for 65) for May.