After a soggy week in New Hampshire, the Sea Dogs returned to action Tuesday night by rallying for a crisp 4-3 victory over the Hartford Yard Goats at Hadlock Field.

A crowd of 3,703 saw Portland’s most reliable starter, Josh Winckowski, overcome a temporary wild spell and keep the score close. Shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald delivered the big hit, a two-out, two-run double in the sixth to give the Sea Dogs a lead they never relinquished.

Outfielder Joey Meneses added his eighth home run, a solo shot in the eighth, to extend his hitting streak to nine games. First baseman Triston Casas scored the Sea Dogs’ first run  with a two-out single through a three-man defensive shift in the third.

Meneses (Mexico) and Casas (Team USA) will leave later this month to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.

“I’m so excited,” said Meneses, who will also see Sea Dogs teammates Roldani Baldwin and Denyi Reyes in Japan. They will represent the Dominican Republic.

Tuesday marked the 11th start of the season for Winckowski (4-1), who was part of the Andrew Benintendi trade and has been Portland’s most reliable starter. The Dogs are 8-3 when he starts, and two of those victories were against the Yard Goats in May when he allowed only three hits in 13 innings.


The Yard Goats had five Tuesday night, including a two-run homer by Manny Melendez. Winckowski also walked four, his highest total since his first start of the season, but he finished his six-inning stint with a flourish. Of his final 22 pitches, 21 were strikes.

“He can get himself going and when he does, it’s lights out,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s fun playing behind him. When he’s on, it’s hard to hit him.”

Relievers Tyler Olson, Joan Martinez, newcomer Alex Scherff and Zack Kelly followed to protect the lead, which shrank to one in the ninth before Kelly induced a pair of shallow pop-ups.

The Sea Dogs had trailed 2-1 in the sixth when Hudson Potts reached on a two-out infield dribbler. Ronaldo Hernadez followed with a wall double to set the stage for Fitzgerald’s decisive blow.

“Our guys, they don’t go away easy,” Sea Dogs Manager Corey Wimberly said. “They didn’t let the first inning or the second inning determine how the game was going to finish. We just found a way to keep grinding and keep battling and that’s been the motto for our team this year.”

NOTES: Don’t count on Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale making a rehab start at Hadlock this week. Sale threw two simulated innings Tuesday in Fort Myers, Florida, and the Red Sox scheduled him for one more session there on Saturday. If that goes well, he likely would rehab with Triple-A Worcester next week when the Sea Dogs are in Reading, Pennsylvania. … Sea Dogs closer Jose Adames, who entered the week leading the Double-A Northeast in saves with 10, earned a promotion to Worcester. Replacing him in the Portland bullpen is Scherff, a 23-year-old right-hander chosen in the fifth round in 2017 out of a Texas high school. Scherff was 2-1, 2.78 in 17 appearances with Class A Greenville. … Sea Dogs right-hander Brayan Bello, scheduled to start Wednesday night, was added to the MLB Future Games roster. The game is scheduled for Sunday in Colorado.

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