MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — The Portland Sea Dogs (84-50) scored four runs in the eighth en route to the 5-0 victory over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (63-70) Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
The team is 34 games above .500 for the first time in franchise history.
The final game of the season series featured a pitcher’s duel of sorts and headed to the eighth inning in scoreless fashion.
Dustin Antolin was on the hill for the Fisher Cats, fresh out of the bullpen after Michael Lee’s seven scoreless innings. The righty gave up back-to-back singles to Mike Miller and Sean Coyle, but buckled down and retired the next two in order.
David Chester stepped in and fell behind 1-2, but flipped the count and worked a walk, filling the bases for Stefan Welch.
The first baseman stepped in and worked the count full before drawing his own walk, plating Miller from third and giving Portland the 1-0 lead. Antolin’s (4-6) struggles continued as Kevin Heller followed with a three-run double to the wall in right-center on the first pitch of his at-bat and Portland held a 4-0 lead.
Keury De La Cruz capped off the Portland scoring with an RBI single to right in the top of the ninth, which plated Miller and upped the advantage to 5-0.
Mike Augliera (7-10), making just the second relief appearance of his career, worked through the seventh and eighth innings in scoreless fashion and Robby Scott the ninth locking down the win for the Sea Dogs. They finish the season series 15-7 against the Fisher Cats.
Portland’s Luis Diaz and New Hampshire’s Lee battled over the first six-plus innings in scoreless fashion to begin the game. The Sea Dogs’ righty worked the first six shutout innings and allowed four hits, walked one, hit one, and struck out four. Lee, the former Sea Dog, went seven frames and did not allow a run on five hits, two walks, two hit batters, and struck out six.
The win also wraps up the road schedule for the Sea Dogs, whose 42-28 record is the best road winning percentage in franchise history at .600.
The Sea Dogs head back to Portland and get set for their final homestand, an eight-gamer, which begins against the Reading Fightin’ Phils Monday at 7 p.m.
The Sea Dogs are send RHP Justin Haley (1-2, 1.82) to the hill against Reading’s RHP Severino Gonzalez (9-12, 4.72).