NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — The New Britain Rock Cats and Portland Sea Dogs began Thursday night’s game tied for last place in the Eastern League in pitching.

With an assist from some porous defense, the statistics were holding true to form as Sea Dogs starter Brock Huntzinger and New Britain’s Daniel Osterbrock traded hittable fastballs and hanging breaking pitches.

But the Rock Cats began playing sound infield defense to swing the momentum and ended up beating the Sea Dogs 10-9 before 4,591 at New Britain Stadium.

The Rock Cats (19-13) turned six double plays, including one to end the game with the tying run at third base. Hitting into six double plays broke a Portland franchise record, and the Sea Dogs also made a season-high five errors, although they didn’t lead to any unearned runs.

Portland wasted a five-RBI game by Will Middlebrooks and fell to 11-20 with its 11th loss in 14 games.

“I’m trying to look at the positives,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. “I thought we swung the bats very well tonight (13 hits). We had a couple hard-hit balls that they were able to turn double plays on and we gave ourselves a chance in the ninth.

“There were some good signs from the offense tonight.”

Both of Osterbrock’s Double-A starts have been against the Sea Dogs, and he’s been knocked out early in each game. After yielding seven earned runs in 3 1/3 innings at Portland on May 6, he allowed seven runs and three walks in three innings before leaving Thursday night’s game with an 18.48 ERA. Remarkably, he remains 0-0.

Huntzinger, a third-round draft pick by the Red Sox in 2007, failed to make it through the fourth inning, allowing eight runs on nine hits and three walks while blowing two four-run leads.

“There were a lot of pitches elevated up in the zone,” Boles said. “Guys were working behind in the count and there were a lot of good swings out there tonight on both sides.”

A three-run homer by Middlebrooks capped Portland’s four-run first inning, but Huntzinger gave back two in the bottom half on a two-run, two-out double by Evan Bigley.

Alex Hassan’s two-run single in the second made it 6-2, but the Rock Cats answered by bunching four singles around an error by shortstop Jon Hee for three runs.

The Rock Cats took the lead and chased Huntzinger (2-4) in the fourth when he walked Yangervis Solarte with the bases loaded. A sacrifice fly by Deibinson Romero off Caleb Clay gave New Britain an 8-7 lead.

In four starts against New Britain, Huntzinger has an 11.49 ERA.

New Britain held a 10-7 lead when Portland staged a two-out rally. A double by Hassan (3 for 3, walk, hit by pitch) and Middlebrooks’ two-run single were the highlights.

Oscar Tejeda and Mitch Dening had ninth-inning singles but Che-Hsuan Lin bounced into the game-ending double play.

“You’re going to have those nights,” Boles said. “I thought our approach was good. We were aggressive early on in the game, we scored in the first three innings, but you hit into double plays? Sometimes that happens.”

Chris Parmelee was 3 for 3 with a double to lead New Britain’s 13-hit offense.

Spencer Steedley (2-1) earned the win with 2 1/3 hitless innings, and Cole DeVries went two innings for his eighth save.