PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Sea Dogs bounced back from a series sweep and returned to their winning ways with a 5-1 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels Friday night at Hadlock Field.
The win marks the 76th of the season for Portland, tying the 2005 Sea Dogs for the most wins as a Red Sox affiliate.
The Sea Dogs sent Eduardo Rodriguez to the hill in hopes of snapping a four-game losing streak and the left-hander pitched a scoreless first and froze Kelby Tomlinson with a 96 mph fastball for his first strikeout of the night.
Rodriguez (5-7) picked up another two strikeouts and pitched around two hits in the second inning and kept Richmond off the board in the third with another scoreless inning.
Richmond’s Ty Blach matched his counterpart with two scoreless innings, but the Sea Dogs struck for a pair and broke the scoreless tie in the third inning.
Shannon Wilkerson began the rally with a single and Keury De La Cruz walked with one out, putting runners at the corners for Michael Almanzar. The big third baseman hit a fly ball to right and plated Wilkerson on the sacrifice fly.
A wild pitch put De La Cruz into scoring position and he scored on an RBI single off the bat of Carson Blair, which doubled the Portland lead to 2-0.
Rodriguez worked around two more hits and tallied his fifth strikeout in the fourth, while his offense scored another in the bottom half.
Heiker Meneses doubled with two down and stole third on a ball four pitch to Wilkerson, again placing runners at the corners. Mike Miller followed with an RBI single against Blach (7-7) and Portland held the 3-0 lead.
Each pitcher tossed a perfect fifth, before allowing a run apiece in the sixth.
Rodriguez allowed a one-out single to Devin Harris and a two-out single to right off the bat of Myles Schroder, which brought home the first run and cut Richmond’s deficit to 3-1.
The Sea Dogs manufactured a run and upped their lead back to three with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Stefan Welch drew a leadoff walk and scored on Wilkerson’s sacrifice fly to right, three batters later, making it 4-1.
De La Cruz capped off the scoring for Portland with a laser home run that just snuck out of Hadlock in right field, against Jose Casilla, and made it 5-1 Sea Dogs.
Rodriguez’s night came to a close after six innings. He allowed the one run on eight hits; he did not walk a batter and struck out seven. Mike McCarthy retired six of the seven he faced in two scoreless innings and Noe Ramirez loaded the bases in the ninth, but pitched out of it in scoreless fashion.