NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Travis Shaw broke an early season slump with four hits in the first game and Miguel Pena struck out 11 in the second as the Portland Sea Dogs swept an Eastern League doubleheader Friday night, defeating the New Britain Rock Cats 6-4 and 6-0.

The sweep moved the Sea Dogs into a first-place tie with the Reading Fightin Phils in the Eastern Division, both with 9-4 records.

The doubleheader was needed because the teams were rained out Thursday night.

Shaw went 4 for 4 in the first game, including a two-run homer, to lift his batting average to .205. He sat out the second game of the doubleheader, which was played in near-freezing weather.

The Sea Dogs scored four runs in the third inning, including a two-run homer by Carlos Rivero, then made it 6-1 on Shaw’s homer in the top of the fifth.

Keith Couch (3-0), who hadn’t pitched in a week because of the postponements, ran into trouble in the bottom of the fifth, allowing three runs, but Noe Ramirez came on to pitch the final two innings and earn his first save.


In the second game, Pena struck out 11 over 42/3 innings, allowing two hits and a walk, but was removed by Manager Bill McMillon one out short of a win after throwing 92 pitches.

Michael Olmsted (1-0) allowed one hit over 11/3 innings, and Miguel Celestino struck out the side in a perfect seventh to end it.

Portland scored two runs in the third on an RBI double by Peter Hissey, then a run-scoring single by Shannon Wilkerson, and made it 6-0 with a four-run fifth, capped by Blake Swihart’s three-run homer, his first of the season.

The losses dropped New Britain, the Double-A farm team of the Minnesota Twins, to last place in the Eastern Division with a 4-9 record.

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