MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Portland Sea Dogs got another strong outing from starter Justin Haley on Wednesday night, but were unable to take advantage and lost 3-1 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

New Hampshire evened up the first series of the season between the teams. Portland won the opener on Tuesday and was looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since May 27.

“We were in that game until the last inning,” said Portland Manager Billy McMillon. “I guess that’s encouraging. It’s just kind of frustrating. We’ve lost a ton of one-run and two-run ballgames. Hopefully things turn around a little bit.”

Haley matched his season high with six innings pitched, allowed four hits, struck out seven and for the first time this season did not walk a batter.

“I guess he put the ball down in the zone and he located,” said New Hampshire first baseman K.C. Hobson, son of Butch. “He mixed some pitches. He had a good night. He had his good stuff and was locating down in the zone.”

Haley, still 2-8 this season with the no-decision, has thrown 12 shutout innings over his last two starts. He gave up five hits, struck out one and walked two last Friday at Reading in a game Portland won, 3-0. He left Wednesday night’s game with a 1-0 lead but the Portland bullpen, which has been very effective, could not hold it.

Miguel Celestino came on for the seventh and after Dwight Smith Jr. singled to open the inning and Kevin Nolan flied out to left, Hobson delivered a two-run homer down the line in right. New Hampshire added a run in the eighth on an RBI single by Shane Opitz.

“The bullpen’s been really good this year, particularly the last month, month and a half,” McMillon said. “Celestino just left a pitch up and the guy was able to get it out. It’s 306 feet down the line. In some other ballparks that’s off the wall, but he got enough of it today. That was like a dagger.”

The Sea Dogs opened the scoring with a run in the top of the third. Aneury Tavarez led off with a single and aggressively scored from first on a double by Luis Martinez.

Haley retired the first nine batters. John Berti’s single in the fourth was the first hit he allowed.

New Hampshire’s Matt Newman singled with two outs in the fifth. Andy Fermin followed with a double to right field but a nice relay from right fielder Tavarez to second baseman Carlos Asuaje to catcher Martinez cut Newman down at the plate.

The next inning, Ian Parmley of the Fisher Cats attempted to tag up and advance on a long flyout to right and Tavarez nailed him at third with a great throw.

Portland threatened after Hobson’s homer.

Cole Sturgeon and Marco Hernandez singled to start the eighth inning and were on second and third with no outs after an error. They were stranded there when Blake McFarland came on for starter Joel Pineiro and struck out Asuaje, Jantzen Witte and David Chester.

“We had two, three, four up,” McMillon said. “We would have loved to have those guys put the ball in play. That last pitcher did a really good job of mixing I guess a split and fastball up in the zone. It was just kind of a tough way to lose after we were winning through most of seven innings.”