Chad De La Guerra and Austin Rei came through with clutch two-strike hits as the Portland Sea Dogs rallied for three runs in the eighth inning to beat Trenton, 5-4, in an Eastern League game Sunday at Hadlock Field.

De La Guerra hit a solo home run to right, and Rei drove in the tying and winning runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single that found a hole in shallow left.

Josh Taylor induced a game-ending 6-4-3 double play for his third save in four chances as Portland (28-46) took two of three from the Thunder (42-32).

De La Guerra hit his sixth homer of the season against Trenton reliever Jordan Foley, cutting Trenton’s lead to 4-3.

“I had two strikes on me and I was just trying to be simple and look for something up, and he threw me a fastball inside and I got the barrel to it,” said De La Guerra, who went 4 for 8 with a double, triple and homer in the last two games of the series after a 6-for-57 slump. “Seasons are usually up and down, and I’m just working on being more consistent. I’ve been down a little bit recently, so just working on making things a little more simple.”

Josh Ockimey worked a two-out walk, and Johnny Bladel’s check-swing grounder rolled into short right field off the glove of second baseman Wendell Rijo – a former Sea Dog – allowing the runners to reach second and third. Luke Tendler walked to load the bases.

Rei had struck out in his two previous at-bats, including in the fourth with two runners in scoring position.

“It’s a new at-bat, it’s a new pitcher, a new situation,” Rei said. “It’s a situation you always want to be in. If you don’t want to be in that situation, you’re in the wrong sport. I was pumped that I was able to get up there and do some damage.”

Trenton led 1-0 just two batters into the game, as Portland starter Mike Shawaryn walked Jeff Hendrix on five pitches and gave up a gap double to Billy Fleming.

Shawaryn stranded Fleming at third and worked out of trouble in the second. With an effective slider, Shawaryn gradually increased his fastball velocity and command and dropped in an occasional curve, working 1-2-3 innings in the third and fourth.

Trenton scored three runs in the fifth, however. Francisco Diaz blooped a single, Rijo (3 for 4) grounded a single up the middle, and Hendrix beat out a bunt to load the bases. After Fleming’s RBI groundout, Trey Amburgey lined a two-out single that had Shawaryn ducking for cover.

“Other than one 0-2 cutter Mike left up (to Amburgey), he really pitched well,” said Rei, Portland’s catcher.

Shawaryn (six innings, four runs, seven hits) kept Portland close. Trey Ball (2-2) got the win with two perfect innings of relief.

“He did a great job. The line doesn’t look that pretty, but a big escape in the first inning,” Sea Dogs Manager Daren Fenster said of Shawaryn. “He did a really good job of kind of limiting damage, and then Trey Ball comes in and gives us two scoreless.”

De La Guerra got the first hit off Trenton starter Michael King (seven innings, two runs, three hits) with a double to start the fourth. He scored on Bladel’s sacrifice fly.

The other Sea Dogs hit off King was Tendler’s leadoff home run in the seventh.

NOTES: The announced attendance was 6,476. … Ball’s outing was encouraging. Boston’s 2013 first-round pick (seventh overall), a starter for Portland in 2017, had given up 28 earned runs in his previous 29 innings.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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