First-round draft picks grab the attention. Huge signing bonuses carry expectations.

The Bowie Baysox threw two players who received large signing bonuses at the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday night – Hunter Harvey and Dillon Tate.

Portland countered with Dylan Thompson, who has played the past three seasons in the independent leagues.

Naturally, Thompson walked away the winner in a 10-3 Sea Dogs victory before 5,529 at Hadlock Field.

Tate Matheny knocked in three runs with a homer and single. Luke Tendler and Jhon Nunez also homered in the rout. Nunez went 4 for 5.

Thompson, 26, made his Double-A debut.


“Definitely exciting,” said Thompson, a man of few words who had reason to be low key.

“I got in (to Portland) at 1:30 this morning,” he said.

After four years at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, Thompson was drafted in the 31st round (923rd overall) by the Colorado Rockies in 2014.

Released after 2015, he pitched three seasons for the independent Sioux Falls Canaries. The Red Sox signed him last month. After four starts with Class A Salem, he came to Portland.

“He used his sinker, change-up and cutter really well,” Sea Dogs Manager Joe Oliver said. “He kept guys off balance and kept us in the ballgame, which we were finally able to open up.”

Harvey started for Bowie. Baltimore’s first-round pick (22nd overall) in 2013, he received a $1.9 million signing bonus. Harvey has battled injuries throughout his career. He was called up to the majors for three games last year but didn’t make an appearance. He has scuffled this season with a 6.12 ERA.


On Friday, Harvey exited in the fifth inning with Portland ahead 6-3 with two runners on.

Tate relieved and Tendler smoked his first pitch for a three-run homer.

Tate was the 2015 first-round pick (fourth overall) of the Texas Rangers, who signed him for $4.2 million. Tate has been involved in some big-name trades, to the Yankees for Carlos Beltran and to the Orioles last year in the deal for Zach Britton. Tate has dealt with injuries this year. Friday was his sixth appearance with Bowie (6.00 ERA).

Matheny and Nunez continue to swing hot bats. On May 13, Matheny was batting .168 with no home runs. Since then he’s hitting .345 (29 for 84) with five homers and 22 RBI. Matheny, 25, is an outfielder in his second year in Portland

Nunez, 24, the speedy catcher who hit .241 last year, is batting .318. Oliver has him batting second.

“Nunez is growing up a lot right now,” Oliver said. “We moved him up in the top of the order, hoping to get a little spark in that two-hole, and it’s paid off so far.”

Sea Dogs reliever Hunter Smith also made his Double-A debut. A 24th-round pick by the Red Sox in 2016, Smith is also from UNC-Greensboro, and also just arrived from Salem. Smith qualified for the save, pitching three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks.

NOTES: Left-hander Dedgar Jimenez, promoted June 1 to Triple-A, made his second start for Pawtucket and it did not go well. He was pulled in the third inning. His official line was two innings, five hits, six walks and nine earned runs. … Future Sea Dogs pitcher Bryan Mata came off the injured list and pitched five two-hit, scoreless innings for Salem.

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