PORTLAND – He threw six straight fastballs before unleashing that killer curve of his.

And just like that, Henry Owens struck out the first batter he faced at Hadlock Field Friday night.

Owens, the Boston Red Sox prized pitching prospect, would finish with eight strikeouts in four innings.

Owens’ new teammates backed him with offense as the Portland Sea Dogs beat the Bowie Baysox, 9-7.

Outfielder Kevin Heller, called up from Class A to help fill in, broke a 7-7 tie with a two-run single in the seventh.

Derrik Gibson went 4 for 4 with three doubles and three RBI. Shannon Wilkerson and Juan Carlos Linares each doubled twice.

Noe Ramirez (1-1) pick up the win with 21/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Owens, who was gone after four innings and 90 pitches, did not factor in the decision. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk.

Bowie, a team that includes several free agents, entered Friday’s game as the Eastern League’s best hitting club (.270 average).

It’s the same Bowie team that Owens shut out last week over six innings in his Double-A debut in Maryland, striking out 11.

On Friday, the left-handed Owens again showed the stuff that has the Red Sox so high on him — a 90 mph fastball, complimented by a 78 mph change-up and 70 mph curveball. Owens, 21, was a supplemental-round draft pick out of high school in 2011 and was given a $1.55-million signing bonus.

Owens cruised in advanced Class A (2.92 ERA) and joined the Sea Dogs last week on the road.

The Sea Dogs staked Owens to a 4-0 first-inning lead, with one RBI each by Linares and Travis Shaw and two by Gibson.

Owens retired the first six batters, but Seth Loman led off the third by stroking a 2-0 fastball over the right-field wall. Owens struck out the next two batters before allowing two infield singles and an RBI single to center, closing the lead to 4-2.

Bowie battled with several high-pitch at-bats, but Owens retired four of the last five batters he faced, all by strikeout.

Of his eight strikeouts, six came on curves, and one each on a change-up and fastball.

Reliever Bobby Lanigan pitched two shutout innings but ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing five runs for a 7-7 tie.

Portland put two on in the seventh — a Gibson single and a Heiker Meneses double — leading to Heller’s winning hit.

NOTES: Friday’s game was delayed two hours because of rain. Postgame fireworks were postponed until Saturday. … Only 500 tickets remain for Saturday’s game and only 150 are available for Sunday. … Red Sox catcher David Ross will be in Portland Saturday for a rehab assignment, according to Maureen Mullen of Comcast Sportsnet. Ross is coming back from a concussion. … The announced attendance was 4,941. … Gibson’s three doubles tied a franchise record held by several players, the last being Bryce Brentz (May 31, 2012) … In Anthony Ranaudo’s second Triple-A start Friday, he gave up eight hits and five runs (four earned) over five innings.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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