Since the Fourth of July, the Sea Dogs have lost four players to Triple-A promotions and four more to the Olympic Games.

What they have not lost is any games since that holiday. Portland extended its streak to 14 games on Tuesday night with a 6-3 win over the Harrisburg Senators at Hadlock Field.

“Everything’s been clicking,” said second baseman Grant Williams. “Our pitchers have been throwing strikes. Our defense has been making some plays and our hitters have been hitting. We’ve been playing good baseball the last couple weeks and we look to keep that rolling.”

One run proved to be the difference in three games. Four times during the streak the Sea Dogs had fewer hits than their opponents.

The winning streak lifted the Sea Dogs to the best record in Double-A baseball and ahead of Somerset atop the Northeast Division. Portland’s record against teams above .500 is 2-4, which represents the lone series against Somerset.

Unlike previous Eastern League seasons, only two teams will qualify for the Double-A Northeast playoffs, and they can be from the same division.

“I don’t think there was a turning point,” Williams said. “We’ve got a great group of guys that have really bought into taking it every day, day-by-day. We’re not looking to tomorrow. We’re not looking back to yesterday. We’re focused on the task at hand and what we’ve got to do today.”

The previous franchise record was 12, set in the spring of 1997 by a team that included Kevin Millar, Mark Kotsay and Alex Gonzalez. That record stood until Tuesday, in a streak that may grow or shrink, depending on the outcome of a suspended contest in the nightcap of a doubleheader when the streak began. Portland won the opener of that doubleheader and the second game was suspended by rain with the score 3-3 in the fourth inning against New Hampshire. That game is scheduled to resume in September.

Since that suspension, however, the Sea Dogs swept consecutive six-game series with Hartford and Reading before opening a current homestand with a victory over Harrisburg.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that we’re playing well,” said Manager Corey Wimberly. “We’ve gotten better and better as the season’s gone on.

Wimberly attributes much of that success to the offseason work players put in during the pandemic and with the player development staff keeping them on schedule and ready to go in April. You also won’t catch him rubbing a rabbit’s foot or similar talisman.

“I’m a firm believer in you create your own luck,” he said. “You keep working hard out there and doing the small things, you tend to get lucky and luck keeps coming.”


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