The Portland Sea Dogs finally got back to playing baseball Tuesday night, splitting a doubleheader with the Trenton Thunder at Hadlock Field. They lost the first game 6-1 in eight innings and won the second 6-4.

In the first game, Trenton hit a pair of two-run homers in the eighth inning, and added another run on a triple and sacrifice fly.

Portland tied the game at 1 in the seventh, sending the game to extra innings (minor league doubleheader games are seven innings). Chris Gittens and Jhalen Jackson both swatted two-run shots over the Maine Monster off reliever Adam Lau (0-1).

In the second game, Sea Dogs outfielder Cole Sturgeon hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie. It was the fourth home run for Sturgeon, who is batting .361.

Trevor Kelley earned his third save with a scoreless seventh inning. Left-handed starter Kyle Hart had to leave the game in the fourth when he took a line drive off his left forearm. Daniel McGrath (1-0) got the win in relief.

The Sea Dogs had not played since last Wednesday. After an off day on Thursday, they returned to Hadlock Field, which was unplayable. A renovation of the infield dirt, combined with a steady rain last week, left parts of the infield soaked through. Portland had to postpone four games, including a Monday game with the Thunder that was being made up as part of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

The layoff seemed to briefly bother Game 1 starting pitcher Dedgar Jimenez, who walked the first two batters.

Jimenez settled down for two strikeouts but Ben Ruta blooped an RBI double down the left-field line.

Jimenez retired the next seven batters, but because of the layoff was removed after three innings. He ended with four strikeouts.

Portland’s first reliever, Matt Kent, kept his ERA at 0.00 with three scoreless inning.

Trenton starter Justus Sheffield shut out the Sea Dogs over six innings, striking out nine.

Sheffield, the Yankees’ top pitching prospect, escaped three jams with runners on second base.

Trenton reliever Andrew Schwaab (1-2) could not save the game in the seventh. He gave up a leadoff single to Tate Matheny, a walk to Tony Renda, a sacrifice bunt by Nick Lovullo and Jhon Nunez’s sacrifice fly to left, scoring Matheny.

A new rule in the minors puts a runner on second base to start every extra inning. So, with Gosuke Katoh on second, Gittens led off the inning with a two-run blast. Bruce Caldwell singled and Jackson followed with his Eastern League-leading eighth home run.

In the bottom of the eighth, with Danny Mars on second base, Schwaab retired the side.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 2,784 … The Dogs added Renda, a minor league free-agent infielder, to the roster on Monday. Renda, 27, was a second-round draft pick of the Nationals in 2012. Traded to the Yankees in 2015 (he played for Trenton), Renda was then sent to the Reds in the Aroldis Chapman deal. Renda played 32 games for Cincinnati in 2016, and spent last year in Triple-A with the Reds and then Diamondbacks. Arizona released him in spring training … Renda replaced Esteban Quiroz, who is on the disabled list with a leg injury.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases


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