BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — The Sea Dogs return to Portland off a winning road trip that included many positive signs.

They also return knowing the trip could have been better.

Binghamton got out of danger with double plays to end the sixth and eighth innings Thursday night, then pulled out a 5-4 Eastern League win in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Jared King’s pinch-hit single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth provided the deciding run, but the Sea Dogs had chances earlier, piling up 14 hits.

“There was some improvement,” Sea Dogs Manager Billy McMillon said after the team went 4-3 with stops in Reading and Binghamton. “There was some development this road trip. We got some double-digit games worth of hits. For the most part we got good pitching.”

When the Sea Dogs open a series with the New Britain Rock Cats on Friday night, first baseman Jantzen Witte will try to extend a six-game hitting streak.

Witte, who went into Thursday’s game leading the league in RBI (22) and ranked fourth in batting average, went 3 for 4 with two doubles and a walk to raise his average to .368.

Blake Tekotte also had three hits, and was on base when Binghamton turned double plays to escape first-and-third and bases-loaded situations.

“We just came up a little short,” McMillon said. “There were a couple of missed opportunities.

“… We had the bases loaded with one out and can’t score a run. That’s tough.”

Tekotte’s two-run triple and a sacrifice fly by Mike Miller gave the Sea Dogs a 3-2 lead in the second that carried into the bottom of the sixth.

Sea Dogs starter Kyle Kraus gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning, then held the Mets scoreless on one hit for his remaining four innings.

Robby Scott let the lead get away on a two-run Josh Rodriguez homer in the sixth.

“We have a lead, we bring a reliever in and we find ourselves trailing,” McMillon said. “We make a pitch there or Mike (Miller) hits the ball in that at-bat (with the bases loaded) like he did in some of his other at-bats and it’s a different result.

“But all in all, the seven-game road trip had a lot of positives.”

The Sea Dogs tied it in the seventh when Witte doubled and scored on Oscar Tejada’s second single.

Eudy Pina walked and stole second for the second time in the game in the bottom of the ninth, then raced home on King’s single to shallow center field.

Rodriguez drove in the first four Binghamton runs.

NOTES: Tejada had multiple hits in six of the seven games on the trip, going 13 for 33 (.394). … The bullpen had a 1.35 ERA in 33 1/3 innings over the previous seven games before struggling Thursday. Following three games with New Britain, the Eastern Division leader, the homestand concludes with three games against the Trenton Thunder. … The Rock Cats have the league’s longest active winning streak at six games and the league’s best record at 19-7.