ERIE, Pa. — The Portland Sea Dogs brought their long road trip to an end with a split of a doubleheader against the Erie SeaWolves Wednesday at Jerry Uht Park, losing the first game 8-6, but taking the second 5-1.
In the second game, the Sea Dogs (45-25) picked up an outstanding start from a Double-A rookie and used two home runs to beat the SeaWolves (31-39).
The Sea Dogs trotted out righty Luis Diaz for the first start of his Double-A career, and he did not miss a beat in the transition from Salem.
The Venezuela native went out and retired the side, in order, in the first inning. He did the same in the second and third as well, picking up two strikeouts along the way.
The Sea Dogs offense backed the fresh starter in the fourth, courtesy of a couple of walks and a big fly. Sean Coyle and Stefan Welch drew free passes against Erie starter Warwick Saupold. Keury De La Cruz followed with a single to load the bases, before David Chester connected for his first Double-A homer, an opposite field grand slam, which put Portland in front 4-0.
Diaz headed back out to the mound for the bottom half of the inning and retired the 10th man he faced in a row. Jason Krizan was the next man to face the righty, and made Diaz pay by hitting a solo homer and cutting the Portland lead to 4-1.
Diaz picked up his first Double-A win with six innings of work. He retired 18-of-19 opposing hitters, the one hit being the Krizan homer; he did not walk a batter and struck out four.
In the first game, Portland’s Matt Spring hit a two-run home run in the second inning and the SeaWolves put two runners on base in their half of the inning before the game was suspended by rain and resumed Wednesday morning.
Wilfredo Boscan took over on the mound for the Sea Dogs and walked Dean Green, the first hitter he faced, to load the bases. Aaron Westlake followed and struck out before Dixon Machado walked and put the first run on the board for Erie.
The rally continued as Boscan allowed an RBI single to Jamie Johnson and a sacrifice fly to Jason Krizan, which plated another pair and gave the SeaWolves a 3-2 lead.
Portland responded with a run in the fourth and tied it at 3-3 on Keury De La Cruz’s RBI groundout that plated Sean Coyle from third.
Coyle was at it again in the fifth with two on and two out against Guido Knudson of the SeaWolves. The second baseman crushed his second double of the game, scored Deven Marrero, and gave Portland the 4-3 lead.
Erie took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Three straight singles began the inning and loaded the bases. Devon Travis followed and smacked a two-bagger down the line in left, which scored two and gave Erie the 5-4 lead. The inning continued and was capped off with a sacrifice fly off the bat of Steven Moya on which Travis scored and upped the lead to 6-4 and added two more runs in the sixth.