MANCHESTER, N.H. — The Portland Sea Dogs bounced back in a big way and snapped a seven-game road losing streak with a 10-3 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Henry Owens set a franchise record with his ninth straight win on the mound, and became minor leagues’ leading pitcher with his 13th win on the season.
The game was billed as a pitchers duel and began that way, with two scoreless innings, before the Sea Dogs exploded for four two-out runs in the third.
Daniel Norris had retired the first eight men he faced, but gave up a double off the wall in left by Ryan Dent, which sparked the rally. Derrik Gibson walked and Shannon Wilkerson drove home the first run with a single to left making it 1-0. Blake Swihart followed and hit a mammoth home run to left field, which plated three and made it 4-0 Portland.
Norris (1-1) remained in the game and headed back out to the mound for the fourth where the Dogs’ barrage continued. Michael Almanzar, Stefan Welch, and Jonathan Roof all singled to load the bases with no outs against the southpaw.
Peter Hissey connected for a two RBI single in and made it 6-0. Norris’ night came to an end after Dent hit a line drive up the middle that the pitcher stabbed at with his bare hand, but couldn’t handle it and it turned into an infield single.
Scott Gracey took over for the Fisher Cats’ starter and gave up a one-out, two-run single to Wilkerson and Portland held the 8-0 lead.
Owens (13-3) made his first start after the All-Star break and weaved his way through three scoreless innings before the Cats struck for a pair in the fourth. Kevin Nolan and Matt Newman began the frame with back-to-back singles and Michael Crouse reached to load the bases with nobody out.
Derrick Chung swung at the first pitch and hit a sacrifice fly to center for the first run and KC Hobson poked a single to left-center, plated Newman and cut it to 8-2. Owens returned to form and delivered two strikeouts, both looking, to end the threat.
Owens finished his outing in the seventh. Andy Burns was the last batter the starter faced and laced a triple to the wall in left. Noe Ramirez came out of the ‘pen and got the final two outs, keeping it 10-2.