PORTLAND – A well-pitched game turned into trouble in the 11th inning for the Portland Sea Dogs.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats slugger Adam Loewen homered off reliever Keith Couch, and the Fisher Cats added two more runs in a 6-3 win Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

It was Portland’s fourth straight loss.

The extra innings overshadowed a pitching duel in the early innings between Portland’s Matt Barnes and lefty Sean Nolin.

Its not a stretch to believe they will face each other on a bigger (major league) stage in the future.

Nolin has already been to the majors, making his debut in a spot start for the Blue Jays last Friday. It did not go well (seven hits, six runs in 11/3 innings). Back with the Fisher Cats, Nolin was dominating again.

Nolin, who has not lost a minor league game since 2011, left with a 3-2 lead (four hits, three walks, four strikeouts). His ERA is 1.77.

Barnes’ ERA remained at 4.50 after giving up three runs on four hits and a walk over six innings. He struck out four.

Barnes showed solid command (89 pitches/61 strikes), using his curve, change-up and a fastball that was hitting 96 mph.

“He pitched outstanding,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “Real good fastball. Nice feel with his change-up. He attacked the zone.”

Kevin Pillar led off the fourth with a home run against Barnes.

In the fifth, Barnes gave up a bloop single in the fifth. With two outs and a full count on Loewen, Barnes just missed with an inside fastball for his only walk. Kevin Ahrens followed with a two-run triple to left-center for a 3-2 New Hampshire lead.

“Made one mistake (to Ahrens) and he hit it,” Barnes said. “A 1-2 fastball that missed location. That bugs me.

“But I felt really good all game. Had command of all three pitches.”

Barnes finished with a 1-2-3 sixth.

The Sea Dogs tied the game in the seventh. Shannon Wilkerson doubled with two outs and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ single.

Portland relievers Miguel Celestino, Rafael Perez and Couch combined to retire 12 straight batters.

But Couch (3-2) was hit in the 11th, allowing Loewen’s home run, a walk, triple and single.

NOTES: Former Red Sox All-Star pitcher Pedro Martinez is expected to be at Hadlock on Wednesday to work with the Sea Dogs’ pitchers. Martinez, like Jason Varitek, who visited last week, is a special assistant to GM Ben Cherington. … Newly signed reliever Rafael Perez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Perez, 31, was signed by Boston last week after he was released by the Twins. It was his first appearance at Hadlock since July 15, 2005, when he pitched for Akron and beat the Sea Dogs (and Charlie Zink). lll Outfielder Juan Carlo Linares, who was hit on the left hand with a pitch last week, came off the DL. He replaced left-hander Will Latimer, who went on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: ClearTheBases


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