PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland Sea Dogs led early, but the Reading Fightin Phils bounced back late and downed the home team 3-2, Wednesday night at Hadlock Field. The loss marks the third in six games on the homestand for the Sea Dogs (15-8).
The Sea Dogs were in a familiar spot in the first as they found themselves with a lead. Mookie Betts began the charge with a single, which extended his streaks to 52 straight on base, and 17 in a row with a hit. Deven Marrero followed with a double to the track in left-center and Betts scored from first to give the Sea Dogs the 1-0 lead.
Portland’s Mickey Pena took the 1-0 lead and delivered five scoreless innings. He scattered four hits across the five frames, left the tying run stranded at third in the fourth. He struck out seven and tossed 92 pitches, 63 for strikes, and left in line for the win.
The lead would hold for the Sea Dogs until the sixth, when Reading tied it up with one out. Brock Stassi began the charge for the Fightins with a single to center, he was moved to second on a walk issued by Robby Scott to Logan Moore. Albert Cartwright followed with a single to center that scored the runner from second and tied the game.
Portland was silenced in the sixth and Reading (12-11) took the lead for good with an unearned run in the seventh. Carlos Rivero booted a ball at third and Cesar Hernandez walked, which put two on with nobody out. Scott (2-1) induced a line out to right, but the lead runner tagged and moved to third with one out.
Aaron Altherr hit into a force out that went 6-4 and scored Carlos Alonso from third and gave Reading the 2-1 lead. The visitors struck for another in the eighth, on three hits, and upped the lead to 3-1.
On the other side of the hill it was Severino Gonzalez that gave up the run in the first, but stymied the Sea Dogs over the next six frames. The righty finished his seventh innings by retiring the final eight hitters in a row. Gonzalez (3-1) gave up the one run on five hits, walked two and struck out five.