Shortstop C.J. Chatham continued his impressive return from the injured list with a two-run homer Wednesday night to help the Portland Sea Dogs to a 3-2 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in the second game of the doubleheader at Hadlock Field.

New Hampshire won the first game 7-1.

The Sea Dogs, who took the three-game series with two wins, have won four of their last five series.

Asked about his team’s resurgence, superstitious Sea Dogs Manager Joe Oliver put an index finger to his lips, not wanting to jinx it. “Don’t wake up the Sea Dogs,” he quipped.

Reliever/spot starter Daniel McGrath shined in Game 2 with four shutout innings (one hit, three walks, seven strikeouts). Eduard Bazardo, recently promoted from advanced Class A Salem, pitched two innings (two hits, two runs), and Adam Lau got the save in the seventh, his fifth.

In the Game 2 victory, Chatham gave Portland a 2-0 lead with his third-inning blast to left-center (estimated 410 feet, 101 mph off the bat).


Portland went up 3-0 in the fourth when Luke Tendler led off with a triple to right-center and scored on Brett Netzer’s ground-ball single to left.

Chatham went 1 for 3 in both games. In the 10 games since he’s come back from a hamstring injury, he’s batting .333 (13 for 39).

“He’s been swinging the bat really well,” Oliver said. “Doesn’t look like that time down has taken away from his timing.”

For the season, Chatham, the Red Sox second-round draft pick in 2016, leads the team with a .318 average.

In Game 1, New Hampshire broke open a tie game with five runs in the sixth inning, and another in the seventh. Joey Curletta homered for Portland.

Tanner Houck (7-5) took the loss, allowing three runs on four hits, four walks and three hit-batters, over five-plus innings. He struck out five.


Houck struggled in the first inning, needing 27 pitches (seven strikes). He walked two, hit a batter, and gave up a RBI double to Santiago Espinal.

Houck settled down and threw four scoreless innings (one hit).

With the score tied 1-1, Houck began the sixth by issuing a full-count walk and yielding a single. Matt Gorst relieved and the Fisher Cats pounced. Logan Warmoth bunted. Third baseman Bobby Dalbec threw to second base, but Chatham mishandled the throw, scoring a run and putting runners on second and third.

The next four Fisher Cats reached (hit-batter, single, walk and single), putting New Hampshire up 6-1. Reliever Jake Cosart relieved in the seventh and walked four, for another run.

NOTES: The Sea Dogs’ catching carousel continued. The day began with neither Portland catcher on the roster. Jhon Nunez was on the injured list with a sore calf and Jake Romanski was moved to Triple-A Pawtucket to fill in for Oscar Hernandez, who is joining the Red Sox as an extra player for their trip to London. Catchers Isaias Lucena and Charlie Madden, from advanced Class A Salem, were both scheduled to catch a game on Wednesday. But Madden ended up catching 13 innings when Lucena hurt his knee of the first inning of the first game. Lucena went on the injured list, and Nunez was activated as a precaution, but did not play. … The Red Sox released former Sea Dogs reliever Brian Ellington. Ellington, who pitched three major league seasons with Miami, signed this offseason as a minor league free agent. He pitched 12 games for Portland (1.86 ERA), was promoted to Triple-A but made only four appearances with the PawSox (9.00 ERA) … The announced paid attendance Wednesday was 4,954 … The Sea Dogs left Wednesday night for Reading, Pennsylvania, for a four-game series with the Fightin Phils. The team returns to Hadlock for a three-game series with Trenton, July 1-3.

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