PORTLAND – The Richmond Flying Squirrels rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to steal a 4-3 win Sunday afternoon against the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field.

Mark Minicozzi belted a three-run homer to tie the score, and Ryan Cavan drove in the winning run with a two-out double as the Squirrels quieted the crowd of 6,437.

The rally prevented the Sea Dogs from sweeping the three-game series.

“Our guys played well this series,” Portland Manager Kevin Boles said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t close out today, but we had a good home series.”

The Sea Dogs, who start a six-game road trip Tuesday night against the Bowie Baysox, won four of six games during their homestand.

“Our guys are playing better,” Boles said. “They’re working hard, and we’re starting to see some signs of improvement.”

Portland wasted a solid pitching performance from Drake Britton, a left-hander who threw 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball to extend his scoreless streak to 10 1/3 innings since joining the Sea Dogs a week ago.

“I thought Britton was outstanding today,” Boles said. “He had a real quality mix. He had a three-pitch mix. He attacked the zone, and he was very efficient.”

Britton, who started the season with Salem in the Class A Carolina League, limited the Squirrels to three hits before leaving the game in the top of the sixth with the Sea Dogs ahead 2-0.

Portland opened the scoring in the first inning. Jeremy Hazelbaker led off with a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and scored when Juan Carlos Linares pulled a double into the left-field corner. With two outs, Matt Spring lined a single to center, scoring Linares.

The Sea Dogs had a chance to add to their lead against Richmond starter Craig Westcott, but they stranded six runners in the first four innings.

“Wescott worked out of a couple of jams,” Boles said. “When he needed to make pitches, he did. We chased a little bit out of the zone. Our strike zone management was a little suspect at times.”

Portland took a 3-0 lead in the sixth when Derrik Gibson led off with an opposite-field double into the right-field corner and scored on Hazelbaker’s two-out single to right.

It wasn’t enough.

Portland reliever Chorye Spoone started the eighth and gave up a one-out single to Tommy Joseph. In came Josh Fields, who walked Juan Perez. That brought up Minicozzi, who joined the Flying Squirrels 10 days ago after spending the last two seasons playing in an independent league. Minicozzi launched a drive over the left-field wall to tie the game.

But Richmond wasn’t finished. Fields walked Ehire Adrianza, and Cavan grounded an RBI double into the right-field corner.

Right-handed closer Brett Bochy, son of San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy, pitched two innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.

NOTES: Portland activated infielder Ryan Dent (fractured left wrist) and outfielder Peter Hissey (left hamstring). Dent, who missed 56 games, started at second base and struck out four times. After posting a win and a save in three relief appearances, right-hander Marco Duarte was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket. Outfielder Shannon Wilkerson and infielder Heiker Meneses were sent down to Class A Salem.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH