MANCHESTER, N.H. – Portland reliever Daniel Turpen just missed with the 3-and-2 pitch, and it cost the Sea Dogs dearly.

Home plate umpire Max Guyll called the eighth-inning pitch to Jonathan Diaz a ball — Turpen and Sea Dogs Manager Arnie Beyeler didn’t like the decision — forcing Adam Calderone in with the go-ahead run in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats’ 6-3 victory Thursday night at Stadium.

“You’ve got to play nine innings,” Beyeler said. “We should be able to come out of the bullpen and finish a game.

“We just haven’t been able to put nine innings together consistently for the season, whether it’s playing defense or pitching or whatever it is.”

The Sea Dogs lost their third straight game and fell to 61-69 for the season.

The Fisher Cats are 75-55 and playoff bound. They are in second place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division, a game and a half behind Trenton. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win or a Reading loss.

Portland took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth Thursday night. Turpen came on in relief of Ryne Reynoso, who had thrown three hitless innings, and quickly ran into trouble.

Callix Crabbe nicked Turpen for a leadoff double, and then he hit Eric Thames with a pitch. Adam Calderone singled up the middle to score Crabbe and tie the game.

After David Cooper singled to load the bases, Turpen got Jonathan Jaspe to hit a grounder back to the mound and turned it into a pitcher-to-home-to-first double play.

The Sea Dogs intentionally walked Adam Loewen to load the bases and Turpen went to work on Diaz, New Hampshire’s No. 8 hitter.

Turpen got ahead in the count, but Diaz battled back. Turpen’s 3-2 pitch, Guyll ruled, was a bit outside.

“That one pitch could have gone either way,” said Portland catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who had a home run and two of Portland’s seven hits.

This one went New Hampshire’s way, forcing in Calderone.

Luis Sanchez followed with a two-run single as New Hampshire pulled away for the win.

The Sea Dogs grabbed a 2-0 lead with runs in the second and third innings. Lavarnway singled to lead off the second and Matt Sheely later knocked him in with another single.

In the third, Nate Spears ripped a 2-2 pitch just over the wall in right field for his 18th home run.

After the Fisher Cats tied it with runs in the third and fourth, Portland regained the lead on Lavarnway’s two-out home run to left field on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth off left-hander David Purcey.

Purcey, who pitched an inning in relief of starter Scott Richmond, is down from the Toronto Blue Jays on a rehab assignment.

“It was a hitter’s count and he threw it right where I was looking for it,” Lavarnway said.

It was his 20th homer of the season, sixth with the Sea Dogs. He has hits in his last five games and is 9 for 17 during that stretch.

NOTES: Third baseman Ray Chang was the only Sea Dog named to the Eastern League’s season-ending All-Star team. The Sea Dogs play at New Hampshire today, Saturday and Sunday, then return home to close out the season with four games against Binghamton and four with the Fisher Cats.


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