Friday, April 18, 2014
By Kevin Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND - Thursday was a time to reminisce over 19 years and look ahead to next week's appearances of three major leaguers.
WHO: New Britain Rock Cats (Blake Martin 0-0) at Portland Sea Dogs (Matt Barnes 0-0)
WHERE: Hadlock Field
WHEN: 6 p.m.
TICKETS: About 3,000 available
As for the present the Portland Sea Dogs could not come up with much against the New Britain Rock Cats. Portland managed three hits in a 17-1 loss to New Britain at Hadlock Field.
Rock Cats starter Alex Meyer, the Minnesota Twins' No. 1 pitching prospect, silenced the Sea Dogs over six innings with a one-hit shutout. And New Britain piled it on with 21 hits.
Before the game, the Sea Dogs celebrated their 20th season with a gathering of former players as well as Todd Claus, who managed the 2006 championship team.
And while that was going on, reports came out of Cleveland, where the Red Sox are playing, that three Boston pitchers will make rehab appearances next week at Hadlock Field, including starter John Lackey.
Kyle Kaminska got the start Thursday and didn't make it out of the fifth inning, allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits, two walks and an error. Relievers Keith Couch, Miguel Celestino and Brock Huntzinger were tagged for the rest.
Meanwhile, Meyer was masterful. He is tall (6-foot-9), has a high 90s fastball and might have been a member of the Red Sox. Boston drafted Meyer out of high school in the 20th round in 2008. According to Baseball America, Meyer turned down a $2 million offer and opted for the University of Kentucky. In 2011, Washington drafted him in the first round and he signed. The Nationals traded Meyer to Minnesota before this season for outfielder Denard Span.
"He was the real story of the game tonight even though our offense came alive," said New Britain Manager Jeff Smith, also a former Sea Dogs player. "Pretty impressive. Real live fastball with angle. Hard curve with bite and a change-up. And he throws strikes with all three."
Meyer didn't allow a ball out of the infield. The one hit was Xander Bogaerts' grounder to short. Of Meyer's 18 outs, 12 were on the ground, five by strikeout and one a soft liner.
Portland scored in the eighth. Shannon Wilkerson beat out an infield single and scored on Bogaerts' double to deep center.
First baseman Travis Shaw walked four times, upping his on-base percentage to .463.
NOTES: Lackey, coming back from a biceps strain, is scheduled to make his first rehab appearance Monday, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. Franklin Morales was considered for the start Monday, but the tentative plan now is for Morales to come on in relief after Lackey. Morales is returning from a sore back suffered in spring training. The Red Sox previously said reliever Craig Breslow (recovering from shoulder tendinitis) would pitch Tuesday in Portland.
A moment of silence was held for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Two Portland pitchers have pledged to donate 10 cents to onefundboston.com for every re-tweet they receive on Twitter: Anthony Ranaudo (@anthony_ranaudo) and Brandon Workman (@b_workman12). ... The announced paid attendance was 4,402. ... Matt Barnes (0-0) makes his third start for the Sea Dog tonight at 6. Barnes, the Red Sox's top pitching prospect, has yet to make it past the third inning.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or: