Portland Sea Dogs left-hander Matt Kent was on the losing end of a 7-5 decision to the Bowie Baysox on Thursday afternoon.

And, once again, we are left explaining that Kent (3-4) did not pitch that bad. In fact, Kent carried a perfect game into the fifth inning.

After five innings, the Sea Dogs still led, 2-1.

Then came the sixth inning, with three Sea Dogs errors and six unearned runs. Bowie led 7-2 and would leave Portland with a gift-wrapped 7-5 victory.

The Sea Dogs (21-37) rallied. They scored two runs in the ninth and had two runners on with two outs when Josh Ockimey flied out to the warning track in left-center field.

The rally only emphasized the earlier mistakes.

“We didn’t take care of the ball at all and, to their credit, they made us pay for it,” Sea Dogs Manager Darren Fenster said.

Kent’s line: Six innings, five hits, seven runs, one earned run, no walks, seven strikeouts. His ERA dropped to 3.38.

“He’s got command of five different pitches and he knows how to use them,” Fenster said. “He prepares better than anyone on our staff.”

Kent said his two-seam fastball and changeup – “my bread and butter” – were especially on. But his Thursday start was similar to others, where he dominated early and then gave up hits and runs.

“Sometimes it’s the third time through the order,” Kent said. “They’re making adjustments the same time I’m making adjustments. Sometimes, they catch on and make the adjustment faster than I do … And sometimes it might be a slight lack of focus.”

Thursday’s trouble was more the fielding than Kent.

“Baseball happens and sometimes you don’t get the help you need. You keep fighting and don’t give in,” he said.

Portland led twice. Back to back doubles by Nick Lovullo and Danny Mars in the third made it 1-0. In the fifth, with one out, Ryan Mountcastle – Baltimore’s first-round draft pick in 2015 – broke up the perfect game and shutout with a solo homer to left. Portland got the lead again, 2-1, on Jeremy Rivera’s triple.

Then came the sixth.

Armanda Araiza began with a bloop single. He reached second on a poor pickoff throw by catcher Austin Rei.

Erick Salcedo grounded to Rivera at short. Rivera tried to throw out Araiza at third, but the throw was wild and Araiza scored to tie the game.

D’Arby Myers reached on a bunt single.

With one out, Joseph Conrad grounded to third baseman Jantzen Witte. He tried to throw out Salcedo at home, but the ball was mishandled, and Bowie led 3-2.

Anthony Santander doubled in a run. Kent struck out Mountcastle, but Audrey Perez followed with a three-run homer and a 7-2 lead.

The Sea Dogs have allowed a league-leading 51 unearned runs.

Singles by Rei, Mars, Deiner Lopez and Witte rallied Portland in the ninth, but it was not enough.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 6,920 … West Division-leading Akron comes to Portland for a three-game series, beginning Friday at 7 p.m.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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