TRENTON , N.J. – Strong pitching, solid defense and timely hitting are time-tested keys to winning baseball, and the Portland Sea Dogs had all three Saturday night.

Stephen Fife pitched 5 1/3 impressive innings, the Sea Dogs broke open a close game with three runs in the sixth, and Portland made two stellar defensive plays in a 5-2 victory over the Trenton Thunder at Waterfront Park

Fife allowed five hits and an unearned run while striking out five and walking three.

“I found my rhythm midway through the game and located well,” Fife said. “I found something tonight and I hope I can keep repeating that.”

Fife (1-1) got some help from his teammates. Third baseman Ray Chang made a diving catch in foul territory on Reid Gorecki’s bunt attempt in the second inning, and left fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang gunned down Austin Romine at the plate to complete a double play that ended the third. Romine was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Jon Saphire.

“The guys made some solid plays,” Fife said. “(Chiang’s throw) was a big momentum swing our way. It lets you relax.”


Portland (8-8) had runners on base in every inning against Trenton starter Ryan Pope but led just 1-0 before breaking the game open in the sixth.

Anderson led off the sixth with a double to left, Chang reached on an infield single, and Jose Iglesias lined a shot off Pope’s right foot for an infield single, loading the bases with nobody out.

Anderson scored on Chiang’s sacrifice fly to center, and Pope was lifted for reliever Eric Wordekemper, whose wild pitch allowed Chang to score. Ryan Kalish then hit a fly ball to center, and Iglesias raced home from third, narrowly beating the tag of Trenton catcher Jose Gil. Thunder Manager Tony Franklin was ejected after arguing the call.

Anderson, who was 2 for 3 and raised his average to .321, has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games. Chang, meanwhile, extended his hitting streak to six.

Nate Spears hit his second homer of the season for Portland in the seventh inning.

“It was a very nice game overall, solid pitching and defense throughout,” Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “Our starter got deep and did a nice job. And we moved runners and put pressure on them.”


Portland took a 1-0 lead in the second. Anderson started the inning with an infield single and went to third on Chang’s double just inside the bag at third. After Iglesias struck out, Anderson scored on Chiang’s groundout to second.

Trenton pulled within 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Gil led off with a double and scored on Iglesias’ error at short.

Spears got the run back immediately, belting the first pitch of the seventh over the fence in right to make it 5-1.


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