The Portland Sea Dogs showed late-game life, scoring seven two-out runs in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a rough start Friday night.

The East Division-leading Trenton Thunder took a 10-0 lead after four innings, then needed a two-run homer from No. 9 hitter Jorge Saez in the eighth inning to secure a 13-10 victory against last-place Portland at Hadlock Field.

Trenton’s Brandon Wagner beats the tag by Sea Dogs shortstop C.J. Chatham after hitting an RBI double in the fourth inning Friday at Hadlock Field. Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Saez provided the break that sparked Portland’s offense. With two outs and one run in to cut the lead to 10-2, Keith Curcio hit a fly to shallow right that Jhalen Jackson caught with a diving snab. But Saez was called for catcher’s interference. That put Curcio on first to load the bases. Jonathan Ortega, pinch-hitting for Brett Netzer, drew an RBI walk in his first plate appearance for Portland (3-9).

C.J. Chatham’s three-run triple, an RBI double by Bobby Dalbec and a two-run double by Tate Matheny followed to cut the lead to 10-9. All eight runs in the inning were unearned. All three RBI hits came with two strikes.

“I just think we showed a lot of character,” said Sea Dogs Manager Joe Oliver. “We saw that on the road trip when we were down 7-0 and came back to win (11-7 in 10 innings Wednesday at Reading). We did have a catcher’s interference, but we hit the ball.”

After Saez’s home run, Chatham produced an RBI single to score Curcio in the eighth. Trenton got that back in the ninth, and Kaleb Ort closed the door for the save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Portland starter Deni Reyes gave up nine runs on 10 hits, including three doubles and a triple, in 3 1/3 innings. Reyes walked three (all scored) and threw only 40 strikes in 82 pitches.

“He was constantly behind in the count,” Oliver said. “They hit a few through our shifts, but he was still battling his control.”

Wendell Rijo of the Thunder slides safely into second base as the throw gets away from Sea Dogs second baseman Brett Netzer. Staff photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Trenton (10-4) scored once in the first, twice in the second, then three times in both the third and fourth. Reliever Daniel McGrath of Portland slowed it, stranding runners at second and third in the fourth, then allowing one run over three more innings on five hits, with four strikeouts.

Trenton’s 6-foot-5 right-handed starter, Garrett Whitlock, ran his personal scoreless streak against Portland to 11 innings before giving up a run in the sixth. Whitlock, who showed a mid-90s fastball, beat Portland 1-0 with six innings of three-hit ball last Saturday.

Netzer was the only Sea Dog to reach base through five innings, with two singles. Netzer has hit safely in all 11 games he’s started for Portland.

NOTES: Receiving 2018 World Series rings before the game were six members of the Sea Dogs’ staff – Oliver, coaches Lee May Jr., Paul Abbott and Angel Sanchez, athletic trainer Scott Gallon, and strength-and-conditioning coach Ben Chadwick. … Jerry Downs made his Double-A debut for Portland after being called up Thursday from Class A Salem. Downs played first base and was 1 for 3 with a hard double off the wall in right and two walks. … Ortega arrived in Portland on Friday. He played second base after pinch hitting for Netzer and replaces Josh Tobias, who was promoted to Pawtucket. … Center fielder Marcus Wilson, acquired by Boston from the Arizona Diamondbacks in Friday’s trade for Blake Swihart, likely is headed to Portland. … Prior to his RBI double in the seventh, Dalbec was 0 for his last 12 at-bats and 3 for his last 26.

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