The American flag in center field was rarely still Thursday night, with a steady 11 mph breeze heading out of Hadlock Field.

The flag was blowing out. Soon the baseballs would follow.

The Sea Dogs hit five home runs and beat Hartford 12-6 before 5,417 at Hadlock.

Mike Olt, Jeremy Barfield, Danny Mars, Chad De La Guerra and Jordan Procyshen went deep for Portland, which improved to 44-50. Hartford dropped to 44-51.

Hartford Yard Goats outfielder Stephen Cardullo comes up short on a fly ball against the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Barfield slugged the longest homer, an estimated 430-foot shot over the message board in left-center.

“I don’t want any wind-aided home runs,” Barfield quipped. “The wind doesn’t hurt but you still have to hit it.”

Hartford swatted three home runs off Portland starter Elih Villanueva (4-3), but he contained the damage.

Yard Goats starter Parker French (7-8), who gave up four home runs the last time he faced Portland – in Hartford – allowed four more, lasting only 22/3 innings.

Elih Villanueva pitches for Portland Sea Dogs against the Hartford Yard Goats Thursday. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Villanueva looked in major trouble in the first inning. After giving up solo home runs to two of the first three batters, Max White and Drew Weeks, Hartford loaded the bases with three singles.

But Villanueva escaped with the first of his five strikeouts, and a groundout.

De La Guerra tied the game with a two-run blast in the first.

De La Guerra, who missed six days with a strained groin muscle, is batting .353 in 18 games with the Sea Dogs.

“He’s been good since Day 1,” Manager Carlos Febles said. “I like his swing. He keeps his bat in the zone.”

Portland took control with nine runs over the second and third innings.

Portland’s pitcher Elih Villanueva fields an infield ball and sets to throws out a Hartford runner. Staff photo by Shawn Patrick Ouellette

Josh Smith followed Villanueva with three hitless innings of relief. Jake Cosart pitched a hitless ninth with three strikeouts for his sixth straight scoreless appearance.

NOTES: Because of a rainout, Friday’s schedule was changed to a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. Both games will be seven innings. … Saturday will feature a rehab appearance of left-handed pitcher Roenis Ellis for the 6 p.m. game. Ellis has been on the disabled list since spring training with a right oblique strain. Obtained from Seattle in the Wade Miley-for-Carson Smith deal in 2015, Elias pitched three games in Boston last year. … The Salem Red Sox announced that left-hander Dedgar Jimenez (10-3, 3.07) has been promoted to Portland. Jimenez, 21, has 93 strikeouts in 99 innings. The Sea Dogs did not confirm the news, but have TBA listed as Sunday’s starter. … With Rafael Devers promoted, Olt leads the Sea Dogs with 13 home runs. Barfield is second with 11. … Olt went 3 for 3 and is batting .396 (21 for 53) in July. … Mars has five home runs, more than his combined total from the past three seasons. … Hartford brought one of the top prospects in baseball, shortstop Brendan Rodgers, who was promoted from Class A last month. Rodgers, 20, was a first-round draft pick of the Colorado Rockies in 2015 ($5.5 million signing bonus) and is ranked the seventh-best overall prospect by Baseball America.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @ClearTheBases