Left-hander Matthew Kent delivered the deception. Slugger Bobby Dalbec provided the thump.

The result was a 3-0 victory Saturday night for the Portland Sea Dogs over the Altoona Curve, before 7,236 at Hadlock Field.

Kent (9-8) allowed just two hits over 62/3 innings, and Dalbec had two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI.

The Sea Dogs (53-69) also got RBI from Danny Mars and Jordan Betts.

Altoona dropped to 66-55.

Kent, 25, continues to be one of the surprising stories of the season. He began the year in the bullpen, but moved full time into the rotation in May. This was his fifth start in which he didn’t allow an earned run as his ERA dropped to 3.33, fifth-best in the Eastern League.

Mixing his variety of pitches around an 88 mph fastball, Kent retired the first 11 batters before giving up his first base runner, on a walk. He needed only 54 pitches through the first five innings.

With one out in the sixth, Kent allowed the first Altoona hit, an Alfredo Reyes single off a 48 mph eephus pitch.

After a walk and a stolen base, Altoona had runners on second and third with one out. Second baseman Deiner Lopez fielded a grounder and caught Reyes between third and home. Lopez ran at Reyes and eventually tagged him out, and Kent escaped the jam with a strikeout.

In the seventh inning, a walk and a double again had Altoona runners on second and third with one out. Kent finished his night with his third strikeout, to go with four walks. Trevor Kelley relieved and walked a batter, loading the bases, before inducing a flyout.

Meanwhile, the Sea Dogs chipped away at Altoona starter Cam Vieaux (8-4). Dalbec led off the second inning with double down the left-field line. John Nunez worked a 12-pitch walk, and Mars lined a single to right-center, scoring Dalbec.

In the sixth inning, Michael Chavis singled to left, and Dalbec followed with another double to left, driving home Chavis. Dalbec scored on a double by Betts.

Dalbec, 23, is a third-base prospect out of the University of Arizona (fourth-round pick in 2016). Promoted to Portland on Aug. 4, Dalbec is batting .320 in 18 games, with a 1.127 OPS, five doubles and five home runs.

The 3-0 lead held as Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, and Josh Taylor recorded his sixth save with a scoreless ninth.

The Sea Dogs and Curve play the final game of their series at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

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Twitter: ClearTheBases