NEW BRITAIN, Connecticut —The New Britain Rock Cats (15-12) made it three straight wins, holding on for a 4-2 win over the Portland Sea Dogs (22-13) on Tuesday night at New Britain Stadium. Portland didn’t make it easy for the Rock Cats, collecting 14 baserunners, but they left 11 men on base and went 1-for-12 with runners-in-scoring position.
LHP Taylor Rogers (3-3) tossed six innings on six hits and two runs (one earned) to beat Portland for the first time in three starts. Rogers and three relievers fanned 14 batters, a season-high for Portland.
RHP Mike Augliera (2-4) pitched seven innings for the third time this season, but suffered his first loss of the year to New Britain. Augliera gave up all four runs on seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts.
The Sea Dogs stranded seven runners and fanned nine times in the last four innings. New Britain’s pitchers threw 158 pitches (95 strikes).
Blake Swihart knocked home the first run of the series, sending the first pitch of the second inning over the left-field wall. Derrik Gibson reached on an error by the shortstop and advanced to third base on a double by Shannon Wilkerson. Mookie Betts (2-for-4) delivered an RBI single, giving the ‘Dogs a 2-0 lead. Betts extended his on-base streak to 63 straight games, but 68 including last year’s playoffs. The first-year Sea Dog stole two bases and doubled in the seventh.
New Britain scored the final four runs of the game, taking a 3-2 lead after four. Daniel Ortiz put the ‘Cats on the board with a run-scoring groundout in the second and Brandon Waring tagged a two-run double with two outs. In the sixth, Ortiz knocked home Reynaldo Rodriguez with a double down the right-field line.
Portland stranded two in the seventh inning to Adrian Salcedo, who fanned Carlos Rivero to end the frame. In the eighth, Swihart singled and Heiker Meneses walked. Cole Johnson fanned the next three batters. In the ninth, Lester Oliveros worked around a one-out hit-batter, fanning Rivero to end the game. Oliveros made it 5-for-6 in save chances, with two against Portland.
The Sea Dogs and New Britain Rock Cats (Twins affiliate) play game two of their series on Wednesday night at New Britain Stadium. LHP Henry Owens (4-2, 3.61), the top pitching prospect in the Red Sox system, faces off against RHP Tyler Duffey (0-0, 3.46). Radio coverage begins at 6:15 PM on the WPEI U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and www.seadogs.com. MILB.TV coverage begins at 6:25 p.m.