TRENTON, N.J. — The Portland Sea Dogs scored four times in the first inning and held on to beat the Trenton Thunder (39-46), 5-4 on Tuesday night at Arm & Hammer Park.
The Dogs (55-28) clinched a winning trip with the victory (5-1), and improved to 9-5 against the Thunder (39-46) this season.
Left-hander Henry Owens (11-3) tossed 5.2 innings on two runs and became the first 11-game winner in Minor League Baseball. Owens has won seven straight starts dating back to May 24h at New Hampshire, and picked up his 34th career win.
Portland knocked out left-hander Manny Banuelos (0-1) in the middle of Mike Brenly’s at-bat in the first inning. Banuelos lasted a 1/3 of an inning on two hits, two walks and four runs, suffering the loss.
Trenton had a chance in the ninth, but Aaron Kurcz fanned Carmen Angelini with a runner at second base to end the game. Kurcz recorded the final four outs to notch his second save of the year.
The Dogs loaded the bases in the first inning on a lead single by Derrik Gibson and two walks. David Chester nailed a two-run single to center, giving him 13 RBI with the bases-loaded. Jonathan Roof added a two-run single off reliever Jairo Heredia, to cap off the four-run start.
Trenton’s bullpen allowed just one run the rest of the way, working 8.2 innings on five hits.
The Thunder got to Owens in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded double by Rob Segedin. Owens would strand two runners on base after the double. In the sixth, the lefty was removed after a two-out walk to Angelini. Owens gave up seven hits, two runs, two walks and fanned five over 5.2 innings. He continues to pace the Eastern League in strikeouts with 100.
Blake Swihart picked up his second straight 2-hit game, delivering a two-out RBI single in the seventh, giving the Dogs a 5-2 lead.
Trenton rallied for two runs off Robby Scott in the late frames. Peter O’Brien cut the deficit with a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the seventh and Ben Gamel (4-for-5) delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth. After Gamel’s single, Kurcz relieved Scott and walked Gary Sanchez. O’Brien popped out to left field to end the threat.