READING, Pa. — Down to their last three outs, the Sea Dogs finally broke through.

Mark Wagner homered and Alex Valdez singled home the go-ahead run to lift Portland to a 4-3 win over Reading at FirstEnergy Stadium Friday night.

“Wagner has been outstanding since he’s been here and got healthy again. His presence in the lineup alone is a big plus,” said Portland Manager Kevin Boles, whose team has won two straight after losing seven in a row.

Wagner, who also homered in Thursday night’s game, led off the ninth with a home run off Reading closer Justin Friend.

Jeff Howell and Reynaldo Rodriguez followed with singles and moved into scoring position when Ronald Bermudez put down a successful two-strike sacrifice.

Valdez’s bloop single scored pinch-runner Ryan Dent and put the Sea Dogs (55-77) ahead.

Josh Fields (3-0) pitched the final two innings to pick up the win, leaving the bases loaded to close out the game.

Before their big ninth inning, the Sea Dogs squandered a pair of chances to tie or take the lead earlier in the game.

Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, the Sea Dogs positioned themselves with runners on second and third with one out after Jeremy Hazelbaker’s sacrifice. Hazelbaker also homered for the third time in two nights in the sixth inning.

The threat prompted Reading Manager Mark Parent to go to Friend a little early, and he got out of the jam by striking out Oscar Tejeda and forcing cleanup hitter Alex Hassan to pop out to second base.

Hitting into four double plays in the game didn’t help Portland’s cause.

“We executed and our approach was good all night,” said Boles. “We had plenty of opportunities (14 hits), but when you hit into four double plays “

Portland starter Brock Hunt-zinger was also a bright spot.

He had been rocked in two previous losses to the Phillies (67-65), allowing 13 earned runs in 91/3 innings. Huntzinger surrendered six home runs in those two outings.

This game appeared to be headed in the same direction.

In the first inning, Reading opened with successive singles by Michael Spidale, Ozzie Chavez and Carlos Rivero. Huntzinger walked in a run and allowed a two-run single to John Suomi as the Sea Dogs fell behind, 3-0.

After the rocky start, Hunt-zinger rebounded with five consecutive scoreless innings and finished with eight strikeouts in six innings. More importantly, he didn’t allow any home runs.

Huntzinger was particularly effective through the middle part of Reading’s lineup. The 23-year-old right-hander notched seven of his strikeouts among the Nos. 3 through 6 hitters in Reading’s lineup, including three against cleanup hitter Brett Clevlen.

Huntzinger hasn’t posted a victory in his last nine starts, getting his last win on July 6, but his last few outings have been encouraging for Boles.

“Huntzinger keeps improving. His velocity is getting better and he’s been competing,” Boles said.

“We had a miscue behind him in that first inning or there may have only been one run, but he kept his composure.”