MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Portland Sea Dogs pounded the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 18-0 Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Portland’s win marked a season-high seventh in a row and 11th out of the last 12 games.
Portland opened up the evening with a six-run first inning against New Hampshire’s Aaron Sanchez, Toronto’s top prospect in the organization. The catch – the Sea Dogs didn’t have a hit in the inning.
Sanchez (1-3) delivered three free passes to Mookie Betts, Deven Marrero, and Travis Shaw to begin the outing and an error on the first baseman Mike McDade allowed the first run to score on a ball hit by Stefan Welch. Blake Swihart walked with the bases loaded and the righty hit Sean Coyle with a pitch to bring two more runs home, and Sanchez’s outing to an end.
Blake McFarland was the first out of the bullpen for the Fisher Cats and the Dogs continued to take advantage of the poor pitching. Heiker Meneses hit a sacrifice fly, Peter Hissey plated another on a fielder’s choice, and Marrero capped off the scoring with a walk that scored Coyle and gave Portland the 6-0 lead.
The offense kept rolling with four more runs across the next two innings. Hissey drove home Stefan Welch with a single in the second before Shaw and Welch hit back-to-back home runs for three runs in the third, which made it 10-0 Portland.
Not lost in all the offense was the outstanding performance of Portland’s starter, Henry Owens. The big lefty took the hill with the six-run advantage after the first and rolled through his outing. Owens (5-3) pitched around seven base runners over the first four innings and kept the Fisher Cats off the board.
He headed back out for the fifth inning and retired the side in order. He did the same in the sixth and seventh innings and finished his outing retiring the final 10 men he faced in order. The California native pitched his seven shutout innings allowing four hits and a walk and striking out six. He ended with 89 pitches, 61 of which were in the zone for strikes.
The offense for Portland did not stop all game as the Dogs scored eight runs over the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. In the sixth it was Wilkerson delivering a 2-run triple, which made it 12-0 and Marrero capped off the inning with an RBI single and gave the visitors a 13-run lead.
Coyle, Meneses, Hissey, and Marrero all picked up RBIs in the four-run seventh before Coyle capped off the night with a solo home run in the eighth. The home run was his third of the season and the third of the night for the Sea Dogs, which made it 18-0.