PORTLAND – Trenton Thunder right fielder Abraham Almonte went 0 for 4, striking out in his last three at-bats.

Call him the hero of the game.

Almonte threw two runners out at home, including one to end the game, as Trenton topped the Sea Dogs 4-3 Wednesday night at Hadlock Field.

With two outs in the ninth and Ryan Dent on second base, Kolbrin Vitek grounded a single to right. Almonte charged and fired a strike to catcher Jose Gil, who held on after a collision with Dent.

In the sixth inning, Almonte threw out Ronald Bermudez, trying to score on a sacrifice fly.

“Not bad at all,” Thunder Manager Tony Franklin said of his right fielder. “That’s good baseball.”

And it was another tough loss for Portland (7-19), which had not trailed until the ninth inning.

Reynaldo Rodriguez’s home run to left-center gave the Sea Dogs a 3-2 lead in the fifth.

Portland reliever, Charle Rosario (2-1) gave up the tying run on a wild pitch in the eighth, and the go-ahead run on a triple and double in the ninth.

Portland starter Chris Balcom-Miller put in a solid five innings, save for a three-hit/two-run fourth. He struck out five and used his sinker well, recording eight groundouts – an improvement over his past three starts (14 runs).

“All I want to do is keep improving,” he said.

Brock Huntzinger followed Balcom-Miller in only his second relief appearance, walking one and striking out three. Huntzinger has pitched four hitless innings in relief.

The Sea Dogs took a 2-0 lead in the second when Dan Butler stroked a two-out double to deep right, scoring Rodriguez.

In the third, Juan Carlos Linares’ RBI bloop single to center followed Vitek’s double and Jeremy Hazelbaker’s single.

Balcom-Miller, who retired nine of the first 11 batters, got hit in the fourth inning – a Ronnier Mustelier home run over the left-field wall, a single, a double and, with one out, a sacrifice fly, tying the game 2-2.

Portland regained the lead in the fifth. Rodriguez got a hanging curveball from starter Craig Heyer, and did not miss it, recording his second home run.

But Rosario could not hold the lead.

Dent began the bottom of the ninth with a single. Zach Gentile sacrificed him to second. Hazelbaker struck out and then Vitek singled – unfortunately, right to Almonte.

“We’re going for it,” said Portland Manager Kevin Boles, who waved in Dent. “Two outs. You get the base hit. You got to go. But (Almonte) not only has the arm strength, but the accuracy was very impressive.”

NOTES: With his promotion to Boston, Will Middlebrooks became the fourth member of the 2011 Sea Dogs to reach the major leagues, following Tommy Hottovy, Ryan Lavarnway and Tim Federowicz (Dodgers) … Outfielder Bryce Brentz remained out of the lineup with a bruised heel … Outfielder Peter Hissey had the cast removed from his left hand and hopes to begin swinging a bat in 10 days.

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

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases