PORTLAND — The Portland Sea Dogs (49-26) failed to complete a ninth-inning rally and fell in the finale of the season series 5-4 to the Altoona Curve (27-47) Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field. The loss is the only one for Portland against the Curve in 2014, as they finish the series 5-1.

The Sea Dogs held a 3-2 lead after four innings, but the Curve kept the game alive and took their first lead of the day with a three-run fifth. Gift Ngoepe began the rally with a leadoff single; he moved to second on a one-out single by Junior Sosa and the visitors were in business.

Drew Maggi followed with a single to right that plated two runs, one on an RBI, the other on a crazy turn of events. The Dogs threw home and Maggi took off for second, got into a rundown, but so did Sosa at third. The throw went to third, but nobody covered the plate, Sosa scored and Maggi moved to second.

The inning was capped off on Justin Howard’s RBI single that plated the third run of the frame and made it 5-3 Altoona.

Portland bounced right back and scored a run off of Adrian Sampson of the Curve. Derrik Gibson doubled to begin the inning and scored when Deven Marrero hit a single to right that Willy Garcia bobbled and made it 5-4.

That was all Portland could muster against the Altoona starter as Sampson (5-4) went a full seven innings and allowed just four runs on eight hits. Kenn Kasparek took over and pitched a perfect eighth.

The Sea Dogs had one final surge in the ninth as Keury De La Cruz led off the final frame with a single and moved to third on a two-out double to right off the bat of Bo Greenwell. With the tying run at third, the winning run at second, Kasparek buckled down and struck out Derrik Gibson to end the game.

Mike Augliera (3-6) took the loss, as he gave up five runs on nine hits; he did not walk a batter, but hit three and tallied five strikeouts. Aaron Kurcz took over in the seventh and retired all seven men he faced to end the game.

Portland jumped out to an early lead with a trio of runs in the second inning against Sampson. David Chester and Keury De La Cruz began the inning with back-to-back singles, then Matt Spring followed with a fielder’s choice to second that plated Chester and gave Portland the 1-0 lead.

Jonathan Roof was next and delivered a two-run home run over the Maine Monster and made it 3-0 Sea Dogs. The homer was the utility man’s second in Double-A and his first at Hadlock Field.

Augliera retired the first eight men he faced, but the Curve began to climb out of the early deficit with a two-out home run from Ralph Henriquez, a solo shot, which made it 3-1 in the third. Altoona cut the deficit to 3-2 when Justin Howard hit a solo home run to lead off the fourth, before the three-run fifth. 

The Sea Dogs stay home and welcome in the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the opener of a three-game series tonight at 7 p.m. at Hadlock Field. Luis Diaz (1-0, 1.50) is slated to make his home debut.



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