Upbeat music blasted from the Portland Sea Dogs’ clubhouse Saturday and reverberated through to the desk where Manager Joe Oliver sat following a 5-3 victory over the Altoona Curve at Hadlock Field.

“It’s nice to hear that clubhouse the way it is right now, these guys enjoying it,” Oliver said. “They’ve played hard. I’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They pull for each other.”

A crowd of 7,052 saw the Sea Dogs win consecutive games for only the second time this season and first since early May. They’ll send rehabbing big leaguer Brian Johnson to the mound Sunday for an attempt at the first three-game winning streak.

Two other Red Sox players ended their rehabilitation stints after Friday night’s 1-0 victory. Infielder Brock Holt stayed in Portland overnight but flew to Houston to rejoin the Red Sox. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia decided to return to Boston.

Pedroia “just wasn’t feeling well,” Oliver said. “It’s understandable. I feel bad for him because he’s such a competitor and such a gamer. He just wants to play and get back so bad.”

On Saturday, the Sea Dogs scored all their runs in the first inning, thanks to six hits, including RBI doubles from Brett Netzer and Tate Matheny. They had a chance to blow open the game after loading the bases with none out in the seventh, but the heart of their order – Bobby Dalbec, Cody Asche and Josh Tobias – couldn’t manage a fair ball. Two strikeouts sandwiched a foul pop.


“It was almost like we sat on that five-run first inning and tried not to lose from that point on,” Oliver said. “That’s one of those things we’ve got to clean up if we want to get some momentum going.”

Right-hander Tanner Houck (4-4) struck out seven with one walk and five hits in six innings. Relievers Daniel McGrath and Brian Ellington retired the last nine batters, with Keith Curcio ending the game in style with a sliding catch in shallow right field.

In the top of the fifth, Houck was struck on the right wrist by a batted ball that caromed all the way to Curcio for a single. It marked the fourth consecutive start that Houck’s been hit.

“Left wrist, right ankle, right elbow and now the right wrist,” Houck said. “Definitely covering them all.”

Houck throws four pitches and each has been a culprit. The first was a two-seam fastball, the second a four-seamer, the third a slider and the fourth a change-up.

“I’m good now,” he said. “No more.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.