NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – So much of the talk among Boston Red Sox fans has centered on Casey Kelly as the most likely Portland Sea Dogs pitcher to succeed that the limelight has veered away from left-hander Felix Doubront.

Doubront has been the model of consistency in two seasons with the Sea Dogs. They can almost count on him holding the opposition to three runs or fewer, especially against the New Britain Rock Cats.

Doubront continued his handiwork Friday, but it was Ryan Kalish who dealt the big blow.

Kalish blasted a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning as Portland rallied for a 4-2 victory, improving to 7-0 this season against the Rock Cats.

New Britain led 2-1 when Santos Arias (0-5), entering his third inning of work, issued a one-out walk to Jason Place. Will Vazquez rapped a single to right and Nate Spears walked to load the bases.

Arias retired Ray Chang on a soft liner to first base, but Kalish crushed an 0-1 pitch off the wall in right to hang Arias with his third blown save in three tries.

“We were trying to get the middle of the order to the plate there to give us a chance,” Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “We were fortunate to take advantage of some walks and they gave us a chance. Kalish got the big hit. It was the right-man, right-spot kind of thing.”

Eammon Portice (3-1) pitched 21/3 innings of hitless relief to earn the win for Portland (15-11). Bryce Cox worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his fourth save.

“They put the pressure back on us. Cox walked a couple guys, but we were fortunate enough to get out of it,” Beyeler said.

Doubront was 3-0 against New Britain last year. He doesn’t have a decision in three starts against the Rock Cats (6-21) this season but has yielded just three runs in 151/3 innings. More importantly, the Sea Dogs have won all six of Doubront’s starts.

Doubront threw 91 pitches before Beyeler pulled him with two outs in the sixth inning. He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out a season-high nine.

“He established that fastball right out of the chute and threw with some conviction,” Beyeler said. “He had quality stuff. If he did that a few times in a row, we probably wouldn’t have him around here very long.

“That’s what we’re looking for out of him on a consistent basis and he’s got that in there. It’s pretty impressive.”

The Rock Cats pushed across a run in the first inning on a two-out double to right by Danny Rams. Spears, the second baseman, prevented a second run from scoring, as his relay throw beat Juan Portes at the plate by 10 feet.

The Sea Dogs struck back in the second when Chih-Hsien Chiang singled home Yamaico Navarro.

New Britain regained the lead in the fifth on Ben Revere’s RBI double.


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