PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs used a four-run third and strong pitching en route to a 5-2 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Friday night at Hadlock Field. The win marked the second in a row for the Sea Dogs (21-11) and sixth in the last seven games.
Much like Thursday’s game, Friday’s began as the pitcher’s duel it was billed to be with New Hampshire’s Deck McGuire and Portland’s Brian Johnson delivering two scoreless innings each to begin the game.
Shannon Wilkerson walked with one out in the third against McGuire and moved to second on a wild pitch, becoming Portland’s first runner in scoring position. Deven Marrero hit a grounder to short that Kevin Nolan fielded, but airmailed the throw which allowed the runner to score and gave the Sea Dogs the 1-0 lead.
The wheels continued to turn with two down in the frame when Travis Shaw hit an RBI single to score Marrero and doubled the lead to 2-0. A Carlos Rivero single put two on with two out for Blake Swihart. The catcher hit a double to the opposite field, off the Maine Monster, which plated two runs and doubled the lead to 4-0 against McGuire (3-4)
Johnson was on point for Portland and breezed through the first three innings in just his second career Double-A start. He allowed three hits over the first third of the game, but struck out three and did not yield a run.
Brad Glenn worked a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double by Mike Crouse with nobody out in the fourth. Johnson (2-0) threw a wild pitch that allowed a run to score and produced an RBI groundout off the bat of Kevin Nolan, which cut the lead in half at 4-2.
The lefty gave up another double in the inning, but bounced back to strike out his fourth batter of the game and induced a ground out to retire the side.
McGuire pitched around two base runners in the fourth, including a Mookie Betts walk, and delivered a perfect fifth before his night came to an end in the sixth. The walk by Betts extended his on-base streak to 61 straight games, 66 including playoffs, and 31 straight to begin his Double-A career.
Henry Ramos drew a leadoff walk and Heiker Meneses was retired on a diving catch in left, before the starter was lifted in the sixth. Tony Davis was the first out of the pen and ended the inning in scoreless fashion.
Johnson held the 4-2 lead and wrapped up his outing with two perfect innings on the mound. He picked up his fifth win overall (3 with Salem) with his six innings of work. He gave up the two runs in the fourth on six hits, walked one and struck out 8.