Sea Dogs finish strong heading into All-Star break

Posted July 14, 2014, at 8:23 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs scored early and matched the New Hampshire Fisher Cats the rest of the way, winning the finale of the five-game series 6-2 Monday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

The Sea Dogs (63-34) took four of five from the Fisher Cats (44-52) with the win and improved to 33-15 at home this season.

Portland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second against Casey Lawrence. Michael Almanzar began the inning with a walk and a stolen base and scored on Jonathan Roof’s single to right.

After a Meneses double moved runners to second and third, Danny Bethea stepped to the plate for his first Double-A plate appearance. The designated hitter knocked a check swing chopper in front of the plate and was retired 1-3, but drove home Roof for his first RBI and made it 2-0.

Mike Augliera took the hill for Portland and worked through the first two innings in perfect fashion before giving a run back in the third. The right-hander had two down in the frame, but left a pitch up to Andy Fermin and he put it into the Portland bullpen for a solo homer, his third.

The Sea Dogs would respond with another run of their own in the bottom of the third. Peter Hissey began the rally with a bunt single and scored with two outs on a single to center by Almanzar.

Almanzar contributed again with an RBI double in the fifth, which plated Blake Swihart from first.

Augliera (4-8) continued to pitch well and had a stretch of five in a row retired before Matt Newman doubled with one out and moved to third on a single before scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by Andy Burns which made it 4-2.

Portland continued to respond and tacked on a run in the sixth and eighth innings. Heiker Meneses, the hero from Sunday, hit a solo home run, his first since June 23, 2013 at Trenton, and made it 5-2. Ryan Dent added an RBI single in the eighth to make it the final margin of 6-2.

The starter Augliera worked into the eighth inning for the Dogs and was lifted after retiring the first two he faced. His final line went 7 2/3 innings, he gave up two runs on six hits, a walk and four strikeouts. Robby Scott and Noe Ramirez pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to close out the win.

Lawrence (6-5) went the first five innings, tossing 104 pitches, and allowed four runs on seven hits; he walked two and struck out six. Scott Gracey and Gregory Infante gave up a run each in relief.

The Eastern League All-Star break spans across Tuesday and Wednesday, before play resumes on Thursday. The Sea Dogs and Fisher Cats will open up a four-game series Thursday at 7:05 p.m. at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, New Hampshire.

 

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