If anybody ever had a better debut for the Portland Sea Dogs than second baseman David Hamilton, their name doesn’t come immediately to mind.

A second baseman acquired along with Jackie Bradley Jr. when the Boston Red Sox traded Hunter Renfroe to the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason, Hamilton made quite a first impression on Sea Dogs fans Friday. Hamilton pounded out four hits, including a two-run homer and a grand slam, while scoring three runs and driving in seven in Portland’s 11-6 Opening Night win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in front of 6,836 fans at Hadlock Field.

Hamilton tied a team record with his seven RBI, last reached by Jon Still against New Britain on July 20, 2009.

“I was seeing a lot of fastballs, actually, that was it,” Hamilton said. “I wasn’t expecting to do that, that’s for sure.”

Hamilton led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple and scored on Izzy Wilson’s double two batters later. In the bottom of the second, Hamilton’s first home run drove in a pair of runs and pushed Portland’s lead to 6-1.

With one out in the bottom of the third, Hamilton singled to score Hudson Potts. In the fourth, Hamilton came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded, needing a double for the cycle. Instead, he blasted a grand slam over the right-field wall, giving Portland an 11-1 lead.


“I definitely wanted to hit a double, but a home run’s fine, too. I’ll take that any day of the week,” Hamilton said.

“He has that kind of potential to drive the baseball. He’s just a spark plug at the top of the order,” Sea Dogs Manager Chad Epperson said of Hamilton, who had 52 stolen bases last year in his rookie season as a professional.

Hamilton was hardly a one-man hit parade. The Sea Dogs rapped out 14 hits. Catcher Kole Cottam had a pair of doubles. Left fielder Tyler Dearden and third baseman Cameron Cannon each hit an RBI double in the first inning to stake the Sea Dogs to a 4-1 lead. Twelve of Portland’s 14 hits came in the first four innings.

The first pitch by Portland starter Chris Murphy left the bat of Fisher Cats third baseman Tanner Morris and landed just over Hadlock Field’s center-field wall. For Murphy, the home run was just a blip. Portland’s lefty settled down after that, going four innings and allowing just the one run with two hits, three walks and seven strikeouts.

“I love the way (Murphy) responded. You get ambushed like that on your first pitch of the game, first pitch of the season, kudos to him because he settled down and didn’t let it affect him,” Epperson said. “He definitely could’ve gone more, but it’s a cold night and the first game of the season. Let’s get him out early.”

After Murphy exited, Portland’s bullpen sputtered. Zach Bryant came on in the top of the fifth and failed to get an out, walking all four Fisher Cats he faced. Oddanier Mosqueda surrendered a two-run single to Sebastian Espino and an RBI single to Will Robertson, cutting Portland’s lead to 11-5.

Portland also used Jake Wallace for an inning, Chase Shugart for two and Frank German to close it out. Epperson said he wasn’t concerned about the lack of control shown by the pitching staff.

“This is the first time they’re up here at Double-A, and they’re amped up. It’s a cold night. You never want to see it happen, but you know in the back of your mind that it could. They’ll bounce back,” Epperson said.

Orelvis Martines hit a solo home run in the eighth inning for the Fisher Cats. Martines and Morris each scored twice.

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