August 25, 2012

Sea Dogs' winning streak ends at six

Portland also misses a chance to reach .500 for the first time since April – that's April of 2011.

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - With two outs in the sixth inning, Bryce Brentz singled and Travis Shaw walked.

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Second baseman Marquez Smith of the Portland Sea Dogs fires to first Saturday night after forcing Pedro Zapata of the Binghamton Mets in the fourth inning at Hadlock Field. The throw was late for the double play.

Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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Drake Britton had six straight solid starts for the Sea Dogs before Saturday night. Then he allowed two earned runs in 3 2⁄3 innings, plagued by a pitch count that reached 85.

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WHO: Binghamton Mets (Greg Peavey 7-8) at Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 7-3)

WHEN: 1 p.m.

TICKETS: About 2,000 remaining

Xander Bogaerts walked to the plate and the vibes were good. The Portland Sea Dogs were on a six-game winning streak and going for more.

Sure enough, Bogaerts ripped a line drive right into the glove of third baseman Wilmer Flores.

It was not the Sea Dogs' night: Portland dropped a 5-1 decision to the Binghamton Mets before 7,084 at Hadlock Field.

Brentz paced Portland with a 3-for-4 night and an RBI.

The loss also spoiled a chance for Portland (65-67) to even its record for the first time since April of last year.

The Sea Dogs have nine games to go and still have a slight chance of reaching the postseason.

Needing to finish second in the Eastern League East Division, Portland is in fourth place, three games behind third-place New Britain and 51/2 behind second-place Reading.

Portland starter Drake Britton (4-6) saw a streak of six solid outings come to an end. Binghamton worked counts, fouled off pitches and got timely hits to end Britton's night early. He lasted only 32/3 innings (85 pitches).

"They drove my pitch count up," Britton said. "I needed to make certain pitches at certain points and I didn't do it. It caused me to throw more pitches."

Britton gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks. He struck out six, and his ERA bumped up to 3.66.

While the Mets drove up Britton's pitch count, "I was hoping we'd do the same" to the Mets' starter, Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said.

But Binghamton left-hander Darin Gorski (9-7), who had 38 pitches through two innings, lasted 72/3 innings in one of his finest outings. He allowed one run on five hits and one walk. He struck out nine.

"We got a little bit out of our approach," Boles said.

The one run came in the first inning. Jeremy Hazelbaker singled with two outs. While he was stealing second, Brentz blooped a single to right and Hazelbaker never stopped.

Britton pitched out of jams in the first two innings, but the Mets finally broke through in the third with two runs, and another in the fourth.

Reese Havens added a two-run homer off Will Latimer in the sixth.

NOTES: Infielder Ryan Dent was sent to Pawtucket to fill the spot opened when shortstop Jose Iglesias was promoted to Boston, filling one vacancy. ... When announcing the Red Sox trade, Boston General Manager Ben Cherington said one pitcher acquired, Allen Webster, would "likely report" to Portland. ... Bogaerts doubled in the ninth inning and is batting .333 with 12 extra-base hits in 15 games. Brentz is batting .431 (31 for 72) in August and .298 overall.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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