RICHMOND, Virginia — The Portland Sea Dogs scored five times in the top of the 11th inning, and snapped a 9-game losing streak to the Richmond Flying Squirrels (67-53), winning 12-7 in 11 innings on Saturday night at the Diamond.
Portland’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now six.
Portland (75-46) scored five unearned runs off losing pitcher Edwin Quirarte (9-6) in the 11th. With the bases loaded, Mike Miller’s infield hit scored Carson Blair for the game-winning run. Michael Almanzar followed with a grand slam down the left-field line, his second homer of the series. Richmond (67-53) committed two errors in the inning and four on the night.
The Sea Dogs couldn’t hold onto one-run leads in the ninth and 10th innings. Richmond tied the game at six on Skyler Stromsmoe’s sacrifice fly in the ninth. Noe Ramirez blew his second save of the trip, but kept the game tied, working two innings on three hits and one run.
Portland responded with a run in the 10th inning on a sacrifice fly by David Chester, but in the bottom of the 10th inning, pinch-hitter Devin Harris tied the game with a solo homer off Robby Scott. Scott would not allow another run, earning his 7th win of the season.
The Sea Dogs defense stepped up in the ninth inning after the game was tied. Stefan Welch made a diving stop of an infield single, preventing the game from ending, and Keury De La Cruz made a diving catch with a runner at third base.
Both teams scored unearned runs in the first inning. Keith Couch returned to the mound for the Sea Dogs, making his first start since June 16th at Erie. Couch worked 4.2 innings on three hits and one unearned run.
Portland grabbed a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, scoring twice off starter Clayton Blackburn. Chester nailed a run-scoring single and De La Cruz added a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Richmond’s Mario Lisson homered for the second straight day, a solo-shot off reliever Mike McCarthy.
The game looked like a Sea Dogs win, with Portland putting three on the scoreboard in the eighth. Blair had a sacrifice fly and Welch nailed an RBI single to left. With two outs, Shannon Wilkerson (3-for-6) clubbed a run-scoring double to left. Richmond answered with a three-run eighth, cutting the deficit to 6-5.
Portland can clinch a winning trip with a victory on Sunday, and go back to 30 games over .500 for the fifth time this season.