When left-handed pitcher Dedgar Jimenez arrived in Portland last July, his impact was immediate: Eight games (seven starts), 5-0 record, 2.91 ERA.

This season, after taking another loss Sunday, Jimenez is 1-5 with a 5.81 ERA.

What’s wrong?

A couple of pitches, here and there.

Jimenez, 22, struck out seven and walked one Sunday, but also allowed a pair of two-run homers in the Sea Dogs’ 7-2 loss to the Akron RubberDucks before an announced sellout crowd of 7,368 (minus a few hundred no-shows) at Hadlock Field.

Jantzen Witte homered for the Sea Dogs (22-39). Akron remains the Eastern League West Division leader at 36-27.

Jimenez, with a deceiving 90 mph fastball, cutter and effective slider, can pitch his way through a lineup. But he can’t afford mistakes.

“I mixed a lot of pitches and made the hitters uncomfortable,” Jimenez said. “The first (home run) I missed up and away, and the second, he was ready for the fastball.”

Jimenez allowed two harmless singles in the first inning. He then retired seven straight batters and had an 0-2 count on Mark Mathias with two outs in the third – but walked him.

“That cost him,” Sea Dogs pitching coach Paul Abbott said. “Oh-two walk and all of a sudden he lets his guard down.”

Joe Sever followed with a blast into the right-field pavilion.

In the fifth, Jimenez surrendered a leadoff double and then faced Tom Ka’ai. Jimenez wanted to sneak in a fastball, but it was launched to the clubhouse roof in right-center.

“Tried to get ahead of the No. 9 hitter and the guy squared one up, and it cost him two more runs,” Abbott said. “Other than that he was locating really well. The slider was sharp. Everything worked. He pitched a lot better than what the numbers looked like.”

Reliever Trey Ball allowed two runs over two innings and Travis Lakins gave up an unearned run in the ninth.

Akron starter Sean Brady (3-3) also struck out seven, allowing one run over 62/3 innings.

Witte crushed a Brady fastball in the sixth – 104 mph exit speed and an estimated 406 feet – for his sixth home run in 28 games, since coming from Triple-A. It was Witte’s only hit in the series but he’s still batting .307.

“Been working in the cage and finally connected with one today,” Witte said. “Just trying to take the same approach every day.”

Second baseman Tanner Nishioka, filling in from low Class A Greenville, stroked two doubles. He scored in the ninth on Deiner Lopez’s sacrifice fly.

NOTES: The Sea Dogs didn’t announce any moves after the game, but the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced that outfielder Johnny Bladel has been signed by the Red Sox and will join the Sea Dogs on their trip. Bladel, 27, a James Madison graduate, is in his fifth season in the independent leagues. He was batting .341 for Southern Maryland. He also can play the infield. … The Sea Dogs left after the game for Richmond, Virginia, where they will begin a three-game series Tuesday. Then, after a weekend series in Bowie, Maryland, the Sea Dogs will return to Hadlock Field on June 19 (Jon Lester bobblehead night). … First baseman Josh Ockimey, out the last three games with back spasms, is expected to play on the road. … Infielder Tony Renda, on the disabled list with a broken left hand, hopes to begin baseball activities next week and return during the next homestand. … With Sunday’s sellout, the Sea Dogs are averaging 5,241 ticket-buyers a game – third-best among the league’s 12 teams behind the big metro markets of Hartford and Richmond.