Justin Shafer threw two straight sliders. Jeremy Barfield swung at both and missed them.

More frustration? The Portland Sea Dogs already had 14 hits and only four runs, trailing the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, 7-4.

“It’s all about capitalizing with guys in scoring position,” Barfield said, “and we weren’t able to do that for the most part.

“But that’s why you play nine innings.”

In the ninth, Barfield was up with the bases loaded and one out. But the count was 0-and-2. Barfield knew what was coming.

“Slider. He’s not going to give in and give me a heater,” Barfield said. “If he executes his pitch, he gets me out. But if he hangs it, I’ll do something with it.”

Shafer hung that third slider. Barfield crushed it over the left-field wall for a game-ending grand slam in an 8-7 Sea Dogs’ win Thursday night before 4,875 at Hadlock Field.

The victory ended a four-game losing streak for Portland (38-43).

“That was huge for us, a most-needed win for the club,” Sea Dogs Manager Carlos Febles said. “They pitched around (Rafael) Devers and (Barfield) was able to put a good swing on it.”

Portland began the ninth with Deiner Lopez beating out a grounder to short for an infield single. With one out, pinch-hitter Mike Olt singled. Devers, who was 0 for 4, came up and worked a walk to load the bases.

Then came Barfield, who was already 3 for 4. Barfield, son of former major leaguer Jesse Barfield, already had six home runs in 36 games for Portland.
No. 7 was dramatic.

“Just trying to take advantage of a mistake,” Barfield said.

Cole Sturgeon added two RBI for Portland, with a triple and single.

Brock Holt made his second straight rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs, and went 0 for 4 as the designated hitter. He left after the seventh inning – prompting Olt to pinch hit in the ninth.

Portland starter Teddy Stankiewicz allowed six runs in 52/3 innings, three of them coming with two outs in the sixth.

Reliever Trevor Kelley, making his Double-A debut, allowed one run in 21/3 innings.

Jake Cosart (3-2) escaped a bases-loaded jam in a scoreless eighth, earning the win.

New Hampshire starter Conner Greene, the Toronto Blue Jays’ No. 5 prospect according to Baseball America, gave up three runs over seven innings. Greene’s fastball reached 98 mph but he also gave up nine hits.

The Fisher Cats used two relievers in the eighth, allowing a run, and brought in Shafer (2-2) in the ninth.

NOTES: Thursday was “A League of Their Own” Night at Hadlock Field, as the Portland Sea Dogs saluted the 25th anniversary of the movie about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Former pro baseball player Maxine Simmons of Camden threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches. Simmons, 81, played in 1954 for the South Bend (Indiana) Blue Sox of the AAGPBL. Also throwing a first pitch was Kat Williams, president of the International Women’s Baseball Center. The Sea Dogs wore commemorative jerseys – that will be auctioned off online next week for charity – and even some of the staff dressed up in the uniforms of the Rockford Peaches (and one Racine Belle was spotted). …With first baseman Nick Longhi traded to the Reds, the Sea Dogs employed Henry Urrutia at first, with Olt off until being used as a pinch hitter. Urrutia, an outfielder, had not played first since his days in Cuba (2005-09). … The Fisher Cats (34-51) bused out after the game. The Reading Fightin Phils will be here Friday to begin a three-game series. Friday’s schedule has been changed to a doubleheader, starting at 5 p.m. There will be only one admission for the two seven-inning games. … Friday will be Devers’ last appearance of this homestand. He leaves early Saturday for the MLB Futures Game on Sunday in Miami.