PORTLAND – With the wind blowing out Saturday night at Hadlock Field, there was a chance for a bunch of home runs.

As it turned out three homers were hit, and they accounted for all the offense. The Altoona Curve had one more than the Portland Sea Dogs and took a 2-1 win before a crowd of 5,760.

All the homers came from batters leading off an inning. Mel Rojas Jr. won it with a blast off Sea Dogs reliever Miguel Celestino in the top of the ninth.

“It was certainly an interesting game,” said Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles.

Sea Dogs starter Brandon Workman allowed only three hits in eight innings. He threw 89 pitches.

It was the longest stint for a Sea Dogs pitcher since August 30, 2011, when Charlie Haeger went eight innings.

“He was terrific,” Boles said. “He attacked the zone, maintained a consistent tempo and kept our defense involved. I thought it was one of the best performances we’ve had all year. Eight innings was going to be his max.”

The game was scoreless through six innings. Charlie Cutler broke the deadlock with a home run to straightaway center in the seventh.

The Sea Dogs tied it when Michael Almanzar led off the bottom of the seventh with a drive over the Maine Monster in left. It looked like Portland might take the lead, as J.C. Linares followed with a double but Altoona pitcher Ethan Hollingsworth got the next three batters.

Hollingsworth (2-3) took over in the fifth inning for starter James McDonald, who was pitching in his second game on a rehab stint from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hollingsworth went four innings, and left-hander Nate Baker pitched the ninth.

In the top of the ninth, Rojas greeted Celestino with a drive over the fence in left-center.

Celestino struck out two around a double to left-center by Cutler. Andy Vasquez pinch ran for Cutler but was picked off by catcher Christian Vazquez.

In the bottom of the ninth, Portland hit two hard line drives that were caught. Almanzar lined out to right field leading off, and Travis Shaw hit a sharp liner that second baseman Jarek Cunningham snared with a diving catch for the final out.

“There was great pitching on both sides,” said Boles. “Both teams took care of the defense. The teams should be commended on how they played.”

Workman finished with five strikeouts and two walks. He set down the first nine batters before he allowed a bunt single to Rojas leading off the fourth.

Portland shortstop Xander Bogaerts reached base four times. He doubled off the wall in the first, singled in the fifth and walked his last two times.

Rojas, the center fielder, ran down Tony Thomas’ deep line drive in the sixth. Shannon Wilkerson of Portland made a nice catch of Cutler’s drive to center in the fourth.

 

NOTES: Portland and Altoona play their final game of the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Matt Barnes gets the start for the Sea Dogs. He’ll be opposed by Casey Sadler.

The Sea Dogs have reached 30 wins 22 days quicker than last season. Portland went 16-14 in May, its best record in the month since going 16-13 in 2008.

Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH