PORTLAND – It’s nice to hit a walk-off home run. Ray Chang thought about it. But what he did worked just as well.

Chang lined a single into right-center field in the 10th inning, scoring speedy Che-Hsuan Lin from first base to give the Portland Sea Dogs an 8-7 victory over the Akron Aeros Friday night at Hadlock Field.

With two outs in the inning, Lin drew a four-pitch walk from Omar Aguilar (1-2). Chang worked a full count, so Lin was running on the next pitch and Chang was ready.

Akron right fielder John Drennen was able to cut off Chang’s liner on a bounce, but Lin, a national sprint champion in his native Taiwan, was well on his way home.

He slid in, slapping home plate on his way, just before being mobbed by teammates, who also dragged Chang into the celebration.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play,” Chang said. “In that situation, you’d like to hit a home run.


“But I know in that situation we had Lin running. Fast guy. Get a base hit and let him use his wheels to get in.”

The game was one of those back-and-forth marathons (3 hours, 31 minutes). Both Luis Exposito and Anthony Rizzo recorded two RBI for Portland.

Bryce Cox (1-4), who blew the save in the eighth inning, picked up his first victory by holding Akron scoreless in the ninth and 10th.

The game featured two prized pitching prospects, but neither lasted through the fourth inning.

Sea Dogs starter Casey Kelly, Boston’s first-round draft pick in 2008, lasted 32/3 innings, giving up five runs, nine hits and three walks. He struck out five, throwing 84 pitches, 49 for strikes.

Kelly, 20, who held the Aeros to one run on five hits last week in Akron, saw his ERA rise to 4.85.


“He was just behind,” Portland Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “When you’re behind good-hitting teams, they hit the ball.

“When he threw some quality off-speed stuff over the plate, he got ahead in the count and got outs.”

On the other side, Akron’s Nick Haga-done also struggled with his command. Hagadone, who was drafted by Boston in the supplemental first round in 2007, made his fourth Double-A start. Haga-done, 24, is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery in 2008. He was traded to Cleveland last year, along with Justin Masterson, in the Victor Martinez deal.

Hagadone, a lefty with an over-the-top delivery, issued four walks. He left after 31/3 innings and allowed five runs and six hits.

The game was tied 5-5 after four innings.

Nate Spears’ RBI single in the fifth and Rizzo’s RBI double in the sixth gave the Sea Dogs a 7-5 lead.


Portland reliever Eammon Portice, on his 25th birthday, pitched one-hit ball over 31/3 innings. He appeared to be in line for the win until Akron scored two off Cox in the eighth.

Cox walked the leadoff batter, Jerad Head. Tim Fedroff followed with a double, and Head scored on left fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang’s throwing error. Fedroff advanced on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch.

That only set up the 10th inning dramatics by Chang.

NOTES: Spears walked three times to increase his Eastern League-leading total to 49. … Friday’s paid attendance was 5,616. … Another first-round draft pick takes the mound tonight. Akron right-hander Alex White, the Indians’ first-round pick last year out of the University of North Carolina, will be making his sixth Double-A start. He is 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA.

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

[email protected]


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