(Trenton, NJ) - Edwar Gonzalez drilled a tie-breaking RBI single off the glove of diving shortstop Argenis Diaz in the fourth inning, and the Trenton Thunder did not allow a runner past second base after the second inning to top the Portland Sea Dogs, 2-1 in Game One of the Eastern League Northern Division Championship Series.
Eric Hacker pitched into the sixth inning for the Thunder, fanning six and allowing a run on five hits. He pitched around a leadoff double to Aaron Bates in the fourth inning and left with two on and two out in the sixth inning.
Michael Dunn relieved Hacker and fanned Josh Reddick to end the sixth inning. Dunn left after a two-out walk to Jorge Jimenez in the seventh, and Jhonny Nunez came on to fan Diaz to end the frame. Nunez then pitched 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and ninth frames to close it out.
Kris Johnson worked six innings for the Dogs, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and a strikeout. Miguel Asencio and Daniel Haigwood each fired perfect innings of relief.
Reddick produced Portland's only run in the second inning to tie the game. Bates led off the inning with the first of his two doubles on the night. Two outs later, Reddick drilled a run-scoring single to right field.
Trenton scored the opening run in the first inning on a two-out throwing error by Iggy Suarez. Gonzalez broke the 1-1 tie in the fourth with a one-out single plating Colin Curtis, who singled to start the inning and moved to second on a groundout.
NOTES: This is the fourth consecutive year the Sea Dogs and Thunder have met in the E.L.D.S. - the home team has won Game 1 each time (Portland in 2005 on a Chad Spann walkoff grand slam)... Red Sox and Yankee affiliates are also meeting in playoff baseball in the Triple-A International League. Pawtucket has former Sea Dog Charlie Zink starting in Game One versus Scranton-Wilkes Barre and former Thunder hurler Chase Wright. Sox and Yanks affiliates Lowell and Staten Island could also meet in the Short Season Class-A New York-Penn League playoffs next week.
Courtesy Mike Antonellis