PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs (13-7) trailed early and couldn’t quite come back against the Trenton Thunder (14-9), falling 6-5 Sunday afternoon at Hadlock field. The loss sends the series in the favor of the Thunder 2-1 and gives Portland its first series loss of the season.
Trenton didn’t waste any time against Henry Owens and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first. With one out, Ben Gamel started the rally with a double to right. After Rob Segedin walked, Gary Sanchez put the Thunder in front with an RBI double to left and Kyle Roller made it 3-0 with a two-run single to right.
The Yankees’ top prospect was at it again in the third frame against Owens (3-1). Sanchez took an 0-1 pitch from the southpaw up and into the netting above the Maine Monster, with a runner on, and made it 5-0. The home run was the second of the season for the Trenton catcher.
Portland began to mount yet another comeback against the Thunder and it began in the third inning. Shannon Wilkerson broke up a string of eight in a row retired by Graham Stoneburner with a single to center. Mookie Betts followed and ripped a double off the Monster, with two out, that scored Wilkerson and made it 5-1.
Trenton matched the ‘Dogs’ run with another of its own against Owens in the fourth. Ali Castillo, Taylor Dugas, and Ben Gamel began the frame with three straight singles, the last of which drove home the run to make it 6-1.
The hometown team sparked another rally in the bottom of the fourth, as they cut the deficit two at 6-4. Portland loaded the bases against Stoneburner with two singles and a walk before Derrik Gibson stepped in. A wild pitch scored Welch from third and moved the other runners into scoring position with two down. Gibson lined a 1-2 pitch into center field for a two-run single and made it 6-4.
The fifth and final run of the contest came in the next inning for Portland, again with two outs in the inning. Wilkerson started the inning with a single, off of Jairo Heredia, and came around to score on a double to left by Travis Shaw, which made it 6-5.
Owens finished the first five frames and took the loss, his first of the season. The southpaw gave up all six runs on nine hits; he walked three and struck out four. Jose Valdez and Michael Olmsted were outstanding and followed the starter with four scoreless innings of relief.
Heredia gave up the one run in two and one-third innings before he handed it over to Manny Barreda (1-0) in the seventh. The righty went two scoreless innings of relief and was deemed the best reliever, thus received the win. Brandon Pinder was lights out in the ninth and retired the side in order for his first save of the season.
The Portland Sea Dogs say goodbye to the Thunder and get set to welcome in the Reading Fightin Phils for a four-game series that begins Monday night at 6:00 pm from Hadlock Field. The ‘Dogs are scheduled to send RHP Mike McCarthy (0-2, 8.59) to the hill against Reading’s LHP Jesse Biddle (2-2, 2.86). Radio coverage begins at 5:40 PM on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and www.seadogs.com. Coverage on MiLB.TV kicks-off at 5:55 p.m.