NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The ball flowed so freely and easily from the right hand of Portland Sea Dogs starter Kyle Weiland.

He felt positive rhythm during his warm-up session in the bullpen. He sensed that the conditions at windswept New Britain Stadium set the stage for a special afternoon.

Weiland pitched five perfect innings, and two relievers completed a one-hitter Sunday as the Sea Dogs finished a three-game sweep of the New Britain Rock Cats with a 2-1 win.

Weiland entered the game with a 7.00 ERA, but the 6-foot-4, 195-pounder struck out four and needed just 53 pitches to get through five innings.

Weiland, 24, limited the Reading Phillies to one hit in a four-inning stint on Monday, and he was even better against the Rock Cats. With runs at a premium, however, Weiland wasn’t around to earn the win.

“It was one of those days where I felt it in the pen warming up,” said Weiland. “I found a rhythm early and was fortunate that it was one of those days where you’ve got everything going for you.

“The wind was blowing in. Every mistake they hit well, but right into the wind. That worked in my favor.”

Weiland consistently pitched ahead in the count while spotting his pitches in the lower part of the strike zone. He complimented a crisp fastball by throwing his breaking balls for strikes.

“My goal this whole year is to establish one, if not two, of the offspeed pitches I throw earlier in the game,” he said. “I’ve struggled in the past when I’ve had to wait for the third or fourth inning to actually throw my offspeed pitches for strikes and make the hitters think about those pitches.

“I was able to establish not one, but two of them, and was able to keep them a little off-balance.”

Weiland is on a five-inning, 75-pitch limit, so a no-hit bid was out of the question.

“You can’t think about that stuff. You’ve got to think about the things you can control,” he said. “I obviously would have liked to go out there for the sixth, but I knew I wasn’t going to go any farther.

“I wasn’t terribly disappointed when they said I was done, but it’s always in the back of your mind.”

The Red Sox are trying to build up Weiland’s strength after he experienced a tired arm earlier in the season.

“He had it going on today,” Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “He’s got some limitations because of his arm situation — he was tired early — but we’re kind of building him back up.

“It would have been nice to let him pitch a little more, but he was pounding the zone and had a good slider working. I don’t remember him throwing more than a couple pitches above the belt.”

Robert Coello (4-1) retired the Rock Cats in order in the sixth but hit Ben Revere with a pitch to start the seventh. Revere stole second and took third on a sacrifice by Estarlin de los Santos. Steve Singleton walked, but Rene Tosoni struck out.

Juan Portes then fell behind 0-2 but dumped a breaking ball into short right to end the no-hit bid and tie the game.

“(Coello) came in and until he hung that slider to Portes wasn’t missing a beat, either,” Beyeler said.

“Guys were aggressive today and we were fortunate to drive a couple balls and get more to fall than they did.”

The Sea Dogs regained the lead in the eighth against Henry Arias (0-1).

Ray Chang (3 for 4) led off with a single, Luis Exposito walked, and Yamaico Navarro reached on a fielder’s choice when Arias’ attempt to get the lead runner failed. Chris Province replaced Arias and walked Chih-Hsien Chiang to force home the winning run.

Portes had a chance to tie it against Bryce Cox with two outs in the ninth but struck out with runners on first and second.

The Rock Cats (6-23) have lost all nine games against Portland (17-11) this season and are 1-14 at home.

Portland reached New Britain starter Mike McCardell for a run in the fourth. Jose Iglesias sprayed a one-out single to center, and Chiang rifled a double up the alley in right-center, with Iglesias scoring easily.


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