PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs trailed from the start, had no answer for the arms of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and fell 5-1 Tuesday night at Hadlock Field. The loss takes the season series to 7-3, still in favor of the Sea Dogs (50-27).
Much like Luis Diaz stole the show for Portland Monday night, lefty Daniel Norris did the same for the Fisher Cats (32-44) Tuesday. He faced the minimum, thanks to a caught stealing, in the first and struck out the side after a leadoff walk in the second.
The Sea Dogs had no answers in the third against the lefty as a two-out infield single by Derrik Gibson was washed away by a Deven Marrero strikeout. Norris struck out two more in the fourth and fifth, respectively and picked up his eighth and ninth strikeouts in the fifth against Jonathan Roof and Heiker Meneses.
Portland right-hander Mike McCarthy was greeted by a triple to center off the wall by Kenny Wilson. Two batters later, Matt Newman drove him home and made it 1-0 with an RBI groundout to first.
McCarthy (6-3) retired nine of the next 10 hitters after the triple, before Newman crushed his fourth homer of the year, into the Portland bullpen and doubled the lead to 2-0. Jonathan Jones hit a one-out triple and scored on K.C. Hobson’s RBI single against McCarthy and Kevin Nolan capped off the three-run third with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Hobson and made it 4-0.
Wilfredo Boscan took over for McCarthy and began the fifth. He struggled with command early, gave up a two-out walk to Newman and back-to-back singles, which scored the runner and made it a 5-0 deficit for the Sea Dogs.
Norris returned to the mound for the sixth, gave up two one-out walks and struck out Sean Coyle before he was lifted in with two outs. Tyler Ybarra took over and struggled out of the gate. Stefan Welch walked to fill the bases and David Chester was hit by a pitch, which brought home Marrero and cut the deficit to 5-1.
That would be all that the Sea Dogs could muster against Ybarra and the rest of the New Hampshire bullpen, as they couldn’t push any runs across in the final three innings.
Norris (1-0) earned the win in his second Double-A start; he went five and two-third innings and allowed one run on three hits, three walks and picked up a career-high tying 10 strikeouts. The four pitchers in relief of the starter went on to strike out five more and Portland had a season-high 15 strikeouts.
McCarthy took the loss for Portland and allowed four runs on six hits; he did not walk a batter and struck out four. Boscan settled down after his first inning and went on to finish four frames and allowed one run on four hits; he walked and struck out a pair. Aaron Kurcz pitched the ninth in perfect fashion.