Friday, December 6, 2013
By DUANE RANKIN Special to the Telegram
ERIE, Pa. - Daniel Fields' first career walk-off home run came at the wrong time for the Portland Sea Dogs.
WHO: Portland Sea Dogs (Brandon Workman 0-0) at Erie SeaWolves (Jared Weson 7-7)
WHEN: 1:35 p.m.
WHERE: Jerry Uht Park
Daniels' solo blast off reliever Brock Huntzinger in the ninth inning lifted the Erie SeaWolves to a 5-4 win before 3,095 fans at Jerry Uht Park.
"That was very, very special," SeaWolves Manager Chris Cron said. "Doesn't happen very often. Hell of a way to keep our winning streak going."
Although the Sea Dogs rallied from a 4-1 first-inning deficit, they left 11 runners on base and were 3 of 10 with runners in scoring position.
"It's frustrating," second baseman Ryan Dent said. "You get guys on base, you're pretty much one big hit away from opening up the game."
Then when Erie got its chance in the ninth. Fields hit just his second homer of the season.
Fields was the first batter Huntzinger (3-5) faced. On a 3-1 count, Fields drove Huntzinger's pitch out to right field.
"I knew I was going to get a fastball so I was just trying to put a good swing on it," Daniels said. "Right when I hit it, I knew it was out."
Reliever Rob Waite (1-0) got the win.
The Sea Dogs tied it 4-4 in the fourth on Dent's two-run homer but blew a chance to take the lead.
With the bases loaded and Travis Shaw, a left-handed hitter, at the plate, Jackie Bradley Jr. was picked off third by catcher James McCann.
"That shouldn't happen," Bradley said. "Just a mental blunder right there. Just try to work on getting better, being smarter and not make the mental mistakes like that.
Shaw, recently called up from Class A Salem, hit a two-run homer in Friday's 9-2 loss to Erie.
"We've got a guy who can easily drive in all three of us and I really gave up on a big situation," Bradley said.
The Sea Dogs were having their way with Erie starter James Avery before Bradley's blunder. Avery had allowed a Christian Vazquez double and Dent's homer, then walked Bradley, gave up a single to Peter Hissey and walked Bryce Brentz.
"I thought McCann and (Erie third baseman Rawley Bishop) sold it well," Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. "There was a delay there. It was a timing play. Both of those guys did a nice job.
"Bishop even told me they've run that play a few times and it's worked in the past. We want Jackie to be aggressive. A mistake was made but we're not going to hold him back."
The Sea Dogs fell behind in the first inning as Mike MacDonald surrendered a three-run homer to center fielder Avisail Garcia that put Erie up 4-1.
Portland had a chance to turn a double play with the bases loaded but only got the forceout at second. Garcia followed with his fifth homer of the season.
The Sea Dogs (55-65) and SeaWolves (53-66) close out the three-game series at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Right-hander Brandon Workman (0-0) will make his Portland debut after being called up from Salem, while lefty Jared Wesson (7-7, 5.77 ERA) is the probable starter for Erie.
"We've heard really good things about him, that he has a pretty good arm. So we're going to watch him and see what we've got," Boles said of Workman.