Sea Dogs’ Couch silences Thunder

Posted May 16, 2014, at 11:19 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs used a two-run second and outstanding starting pitching for a 2-0 win over the Trenton Thunder Friday night at Hadlock Field. The win evened up the season series at 3-3 between the two squads.

Sea Dogs’ right-hander Keith Couch gave up a one-out double to Slade Heathcott in the first, but went on to retire the next 14 of the next 15 Trenton hitters in a row.

Couch (5-0) was supported with a pair of runs in the second inning, and never looked back. Blake Swihart drew a leadoff walk against Trenton’s Caleb Cotham and moved to third on a fielder’s choice that put Henry Ramos at first with one out. Peter Hissey followed and hit a double to the left-center gap, which plated the two runners and gave the Sea Dogs the 2-0 lead.

Couch went back out for the sixth inning and gave up a leadoff single to Ali Castillo, but induced a 3-4 out off the bat of Ben Gamel. A catcher’s interference call put two on with one out, but Gamel was retired trying to advance on a dirt ball read for the second out.

Couch picked up a groundout to second to end the threat and kept it a two-run lead. In the seventh the starter allowed two more hits, but stranded the pair and wrapped up his outing on the mound. Miguel Celestino took over and earned his third save with two scoreless innings.

Cotham (0-1) gave up the two runs in the second and couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. The righty gave up the runs on six hits and five walks; he didn’t strike out a batter. Jairo Heredia was the first arm used out of the Thunder bullpen and stymied the Sea Dogs across two and one-third hitless innings.

The win for Couch marked his fifth of the season and 16th of his Double-A career with the Portland Sea Dogs. Mookie Betts had a relatively quiet night at the plate, but did extend his on-base streak to 66-straight games with a leadoff walk in the first.

Portland is now 24-14 and Trenton is 23-18.

 

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