READING, Pennsylvania — Mickey Pena (2-0) fired five scoreless innings and Portland (19-10) used a three-run third inning to beat the Reading Fightin Phils (14-14), 4-0 on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. Portland has won four straight and moves nine games over .500 for the first time this season.
Pena allowed one runner past second base, yielding three hits (two infield singles), two walks and fanned five. The Mission, Texas native earned his second win of the season, and has back-to-back, 5-inning shutout performances against Reading.
Reading starter RHP Severino Gonzalez (3-2) beat the Sea Dogs in his last start on April 30th at Hadlock Field, but took the loss on Tuesday. Gonzalez gave up four runs on six hits over 6 IP.
The Sea Dogs got to Gonzalez in the third inning, sending eight men to the plate, and continuing their two-out magic. Shannon Wilkerson led off the frame with a single and Deven Marrero drew a one-out walk. Travis Shaw knocked in the game’s first run with a single off the shortstop’s glove, his 22nd RBI. With two outs, Blake Swihart and Henry Ramos delivered back-to-back RBI singles. Portland has scored 50% of their runs this season with two outs.
In the fourth, Betts picked up a hit for the 26th time in 28 games, blooping an RBI single to scoring Derrik Gibson and giving Portland a 4-0 advantage. Betts extended his on-base streak to 58 straight games, dating back to last August 2nd (63 including the playoffs).
Nate Reed, who grew up in Temple, PA, just two miles from FirstEnergy Stadium, fired three scoreless to earn his first Double-A hold. Aaron Kurcz closed out the win, working around leadoff singles in the ninth. The Sea Dogs notched their third shutout of the season, allowing just six hits, and holding Reading 0-for-5 with runners-in-scoring position.
Portland has won four of their last five from Reading, and holds a 1.5 game lead over Trenton for the top spot in the Eastern Division.
The Sea Dogs wrap up the seven-game road trip and three-game series against the Reading Fightin Phils, with the finale Wednesday morning at 11:35 AM from FirstEnergy Stadium. LHP Mike Augliera (2-2, 3.48) makes his second start against Reading’s LHP Hoby Milner (0-2, 6.16). Radio coverage begins at 11:15 AM on the WPEI U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and www.seadogs.com. MILB.TV coverage begins at 11:25 AM.