Wednesday, May 22, 2013
By ALLEN LESSELS Special to the Press Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Portland Sea Dogs dodged trouble in the seventh inning and even bigger problems in the ninth Sunday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
WHO: Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 4-3) vs. Trenton Thunder (Vidal Nuno 5-2)
WHEN: 7 p.m.
WHERE: Hadlock Field
But there was no escaping the 10th.
John Tolisano singled to right off reliever Ryan Pressly to knock in Kenen Bailli and give the New Hampshire Fisher Cats a 6-5 victory, snapping Portland’s winning streak at a season-high five games.
“Each team had opportunities to win the game and put it away,” said Sea Dogs right fielder Bryce Brentz. “But we didn’t cash in and they cashed in when they needed to.”
The Sea Dogs took the series 3-1 but were denied their first full-series sweep of the season. They won a rain-shortened two-game set with the Fisher Cats in early May.
“It was a great series for us and I thought our guys played very well,” said Portland Manager Kevin Boles. “Now it’s back to work at home.”
Portland opens a three-game homestand against Trenton tonight before heading out for four games in Binghamton starting Thursday night.
The Sea Dogs are 14-8 against New Hampshire with four games left between the teams – in Manchester on Aug. 27-30.
The score was 5-5 through three innings. Jeremy Hazelbaker and Marquz Smith ripped back-to-back homers to put the Sea Dogs up in the first inning, and Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in a run with a single in the second. Doubles by Smith and Brentz, and a wild pitch gave Portland two more runs in the third.
Smith’s double gave him six consecutive hits: He ended Saturday night’s game with four straight.
The Fisher Cats bunched six hits off starter Mike MacDonald of Camden for five runs in the second inning.
Coming off seven innings of five-hit, shutout ball against Reading on Tuesday, MacDonald gave up nine hits and five runs over his 4 1⁄3 innings.
“There were a couple of balls that I thought we could have made plays on,” Boles said.
“I thought he kept his composure. He’s a guy that can add and subtract with his velocity on his fastball, and he uses a mix and when he misses, he misses down.”
The bullpens took over in the middle innings.
In the New Hampshire seventh, after a hit batsmen, an error by catcher Dan Butler on a sacrifice and a fielder’s choice, there were runners on first and third with one out.
Chris Balcom-Miller of Portland picked Mike McDade off first base and, after walking Kevin Howard, struck out Brad Glenn.
Balcom-Miller came on for MacDonald in the bottom of the fifth and threw 32⁄3 innings of hitless relief, striking out four and walking one.
The Fisher Cats got a leadoff double, then had a runner on third with one out and the bases loaded with two outs in the ninth against Pressly.
Pressly got Brad Glenn to ground out to first to end the inning.
“Our guys made pitches when they needed to,” Boles said.
But then came the 10th.
Bailli led off with a single, moved to second on sacrifice and, after a pop out, scored on Tolisano’s hit.
“They got the two timely hits,” Boles said.