PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs failed to complete a ninth-inning rally and fell in the finale of the season series 5-4 to the Altoona Curve Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field.
The loss is the only one for Portland (49-26) against the Curve (27-47) in 2014, as they finish the series 5-1.
The Sea Dogs held a 3-2 lead after four innings, but the Curve kept the comeback alive and took their first lead of the day with a three-run fifth. Gift Ngoepe began the rally with a leadoff single; he moved to second on a one-out single by Junior Sosa and visitors were in business.
Drew Maggi followed with a single to right that plated two runs, one on an RBI, the other on a crazy turn of events. The Dogs threw home and Maggi took off for second, got into a rundown, but so did Sosa at third. The throw went to third, but nobody covered the plate, Sosa scored and Maggi moved to second.
The inning was capped off on Justin Howard’s RBI single.
Portland bounced right back and scored a run off of Adrian Sampson of the Curve. Derrik Gibson doubled to begin the inning and scored when Deven Marrero hit a single to right that Willy Garcia bobbled and made it 5-4.
That would be all Portland could muster against the Altoona starter as Sampson (5-4) went a full seven innings and allowed just the four runs on eight hits. Kenn Kasparek took over and pitched a perfect eighth.
The Sea Dogs had one final surge in the ninth as Keury De La Cruz led off the with a single and moved to third on a two-out double to right off the bat of Bo Greenwell. With the tying run at third, the winning run at second, Kasparek buckled down and struck out Derrik Gibson to end the game.
Augliera (3-6) took the loss as he gave up five runs on nine hits; he did not walk a batter, but hit three and tallied five strikeouts. Aaron Kurcz took over in seventh and retired all seven men he faced to end the game.