HARRISBURG, Pa. — A lucky bounce, strong starting pitching and sparkling defense helped the Portland Sea Dogs extend their winning streak to six games Thursday night with a 1-0 victory against the Harrisburg Senators.

Mike Miller’s homer in the ninth inning off an outfielder’s glove provided the run as Portland (81-50) swept a three-game series and moved 31 games above .500 for the first time since Aug. 27, 1995.

Eduardo Rodriguez threw seven shutout innings and Mike McCarthy (10-4) got the final six outs, helping the Sea Dogs extend their lead over the idle Binghamton Mets to 2 1/2 games in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division.

Portland turned four double plays Thursday and eight in the series against Harrisburg (49-81), which lost its eighth straight game and fell to 2-16 in its last 18 outings. The Sea Dogs play the Senators again four times next week at Hadlock Field to wrap up the regular season.

Miller lifted a 1-0 pitch from reliever Derek Self (2-3) the opposite way. The ball deflected off right fielder Drew Vettleson’s glove and hit a railing above the yellow line.

First-base umpire Dan Merzel immediately signaled home run, the first of Miller’s brief Double-A career.

“I couldn’t tell it hit off his glove but I could hear it rattling (off the railing),” Portland Manager Billy McMillon said. “That was a great at-bat for Mikey. I didn’t know he had (opposite-field) juice like that.”

Miller said it was all in a night’s work for a Sea Dogs team that’s only five wins shy of equaling the franchise victory record of 86 set in 1995.

“What’s that mantra, that good teams find a way to win?” Miller asked. “In the short time I’ve been here, it seems like everyone has played a big role in a game at some point.

“Tonight I was lucky enough to be the one in that situation. I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and luckily the ball snuck over the fence off his glove. I’m just trying to get on base there.”

Miller’s homer spoiled a well-pitched game for Harrisburg. Starter Paolo Espino was perfect the first time through Portland’s lineup and didn’t allow a hit until Kevin Weller lashed a two-out single to center in the fifth.

Espino threw eight shutout innings and allowed two hits, striking out 11 and walking two for Harrisburg.

Rodriguez gave up five hits in his scoreless outing, striking out five and walking two.

McCarthy struck out four of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings to close out the game.

“Pitchers did a tremendous job for both teams,” McMillon said. “There were a lot of strikeouts. We struck out 13 times so hat’s off to Paolo Espino. He did a great job and so did our pitchers. It’s not often you win a game with only three hits and one run.”

Defense played a big role, as it had the past two nights.

“Our pitchers did a good job throwing to some contract with guys on base,” Sea Dogs second baseman Sean Coyle said. “We got a lot of ground balls and turned them into double plays, which kept their pitch counts down.”

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