PORTLAND – By coincidence, the Portland Sea Dogs are playing three straight games against major league pitchers.

So far the victories keep coming.

Portland beat the Harrisburg Senators and starter John Lannan 9-1 on Thursday night before 7,368 at Hadlock Field.

On Wednesday, Portland beat New Hampshire and starter Jo-Jo Reyes.

Tonight the Sea Dogs will face Jason Marquis, an 11-year major league veteran who is making a rehab start for the Senators.

Marquis is facing a hot team. The Sea Dogs (50-48) have won six straight games.


Portland put together 14 hits Thursday, including home runs by Nate Spears (11th) and Chih-Hsien Chiang (sixth).

Ryan Lavarnway continued his blazing introduction to Double-A with three hits and three RBI. He’s batting .444 with 14 RBI in seven games.

“Hopefully this isn’t just a start but how I’m going to be,” Lavarnway said. “Obviously nobody hits .400, but I’m seeing the ball well and I’m going to try to continue to do the things that I’m doing well right now continue to put the work in and not be satisfied.”

Alex Wilson (3-2) made another fine start for Portland, holding the Senators to one run on two hits and one walk over 52/3 innings. He struck out three.

Besides his fastball and slider, Wilson is using his change-up effectively, and even tossed a few curves in his later innings.

Wilson, the Red Sox’s second-round draft pick in 2009, has held opponents to three runs or less in six of his eight starts in Double-A.


“I’m definitely getting much more comfortable out on the mound,” Wilson said. “I’ve figured some things out.”

Wilson’s counterpart, Lannan, was making his sixth Double-A start since coming down from the Washington Nationals. Lannan, the Nats’ opening-day starter the past two seasons, was sent to Harrisburg to work on his mechanics with pitching coach Randy Tomlin.

Wilson and Lannan were locked in a duel, with Harrisburg scoring in the second on a two-out single and Ofilio Castro’s RBI double.

In the fourth, Yamaico Navarro (2 for 4) singled, stole second and reached third on a throwing error. He scored on Lavarnway’s grounder up the middle.

Spears broke the tie in the fourth with his blast to the bullpen in right field on a Lannan change-up.

Lannan left after giving up two singles in the sixth, and Portland pounced on the Senators’ bullpen.


“The guys did a nice job of grinding some (at-bats) and making (Lannan) work a little bit,” Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler said. “Our guys have been good seeing a (pitcher) the second time around and making adjustments.”

NOTES: Marquis, 31, a free-agent signing with Washington, was 0-3 before going on the disabled list. In May, Marquis underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. He’s best known to Red Sox fans as the St. Louis starter in Game 4 of the 2004 World Series, won by Boston, 3-0.

The Picnic in the Park with the Sea Dogs is Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Hadlock Field. Tickets are $15 at the ticket office.

Lavarnway leads Red Sox minor leaguers with 77 RBI, including his time with advanced Class A Salem. This is Portland’s longest win streak since 2008. Anthony Rizzo and Luis Exposito also had two hits apiece.

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



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