Monday, March 10, 2014
By ALLEN LESSELS Special to the Press Herald
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Yohan Pino struck out the first three batters -- all on called third strikes -- in the first inning.
Things didn't get any better from there for the Portland Sea Dogs on Wednesday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, losing 7-0 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
"Pino was terrific tonight," said Sea Dog Manager Kevin Boles. "He had fastball command and was able to sink it. He also pitched inside for effect and was also able to change speed at any time in the count.
"He maintained a pretty good tempo, too. I thought he was pretty impressive tonight."
Pino allowed only a pair of singles in his seven innings and struck out 10 while walking two.
"He kept us off balance and was able to locate all speeds," said Sea Dogs right fielder Bryce Brentz. "We were maybe a little too aggressive, myself included. But he pitched very well tonight. You cannot take that away from him."
Pino won his fifth game in a row and improved to 10-7 for the season.
New Hampshire's Ronald Uviedo and Sam Dyson each pitched an inning of hitless relief.
The Sea Dogs dropped to four games under .500 at 66-70 with five games to play.
They finish off their final road series of the season Thursday night against New Hampshire and then head home to close out the season with four games against Reading starting on Friday night.
Portland was shut out for the first time since the Eastern League All-Star game. The Sea Dogs were shut out nine times while going 36-54 before the break.
They are 30-16 since the All-Star game.
The Fisher Cats did the bulk of their damage in the second inning. They sent nine batters to the plate off Portland starter Brandon Workman and collected five runs on seven hits.
"They strung them together," Boles said. "I thought we got a little one-dimensional with the fastball. We didn't utilize a mix early on."
Workman pitched to only two batters in the third inning -- by far his shortest stint as a Sea Dog -- and lost for the first time after winning his first three starts. He gave up eight hits and six runs, struck out two and walked two.
Lefty Will Latimer came on for Workman and gave up a pair of hits over a season-high four innings.
"Latimer did a real nice job for us," Boles said.
Latimer struck out five and did not walk a batter.
NOTES: The Red Sox optioned Clay Mortensen to Portland on Wednesday and he was due to join the team in Manchester. The move made room for Zach Stewart in Boston.
It's expected that Mortensen will go back to the Red Sox when rosters are expanded on Saturday. ... Portland's Xander Bogaerts had the night off. ... Marquez Smith in the third and Ronald Bermudez in the fifth had the Sea Dogs' singles.