PORTLAND, Maine —The Portland Sea Dogs returned home from an eight-game road trip and swept away the New Britain Rock Cats 4-0 and 4-2 in the twinbill Saturday night at Hadlock Field. The wins send the season series to 10-5 in favor of the Sea Dogs (58-29).
Right-hander Mike McCarthy (8-3) tossed five scoreless innings and Portland used a three-run fourth, defeating the Rock Cats (43-42).
McCarthy surrendered just three hits, one walk and one hit batter over 5 innings. He worked around back-to-back singles in his final frame, and finished his outing with five strikeouts.
Rock Cats starter Virgil Vasquez (4-5) pitched a complete-game, but took the loss. Vasquez gave up eight hits and four runs over six innings.
Portland went to work right away, picking up a run in the first inning off Vasquez. Derrik Gibson led off with a double and moved to third on a single from Shannon Wilkerson. Sean Coyle knocked home his 42nd run with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Dogs delivered the knockout punch with a three-run fourth. Michael Almanzar was hit-by-a-pitch and scored on a double by David Chester. With two outs, Shannon Wilkerson delivered a two-run single.
Luis Diaz was called upon to make his second home Double-A start in the nightcap of the doubleheader. The righty was greeted by a leadoff single and double from the first two New Britain hitters in the first.
Former Sea Dog Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to center and plated Aaron Hicks to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Portland responded in the bottom half of the frame and took the lead with two runs. Derrik Gibson picked up a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and was in scoring position for Sean Coyle.
The second baseman stayed red-hot, and began his huge night, with a two-run homer to right-center and gave the Dogs a 2-1 lead.
Pat Dean returned to the mound in the second and was haunted by the second baseman, again. The bases were loaded for Coyle and he deposited a fly ball into shallow right that fell just beyond the dive of Rodriguez for a two-run single, which made it 4-1.
Diaz took the lead and never looked back. The righty pitched around two base runners over the next four innings before New Britain got a run back in the sixth. It was a mirror image of the first, with the second run scoring on a sacrifice fly by Rodriguez, following a single and double.
Dean (6-4) pitched a complete game and took the loss for the Cats, giving up the four runs over six innings.
Diaz (3-1) earned the second complete game of his career with his seven-inning outing in game two. The righty gave up the two runs on five hits; he walked one and struck out six.