Friday, April 24, 2009

Sea Dogs beat Defenders 3-1

Lars Anderson in the Third Inning (Photo courtesy Pierre's of Exchange St)

It was beautiful evening for baseball at Hadlock Field in Portland Friday night, and snapping a three game losing streak made the evening even better. The Portland Sea Dogs beat the Connecticut Defenders 3-1 to even their record to 7-7 on the young season.

With the Sea Dogs down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, Bubba Bell wasted no time in extending his hitting to eight games, stroking a two-run homer to centerfield to give the Sea Dogs a 2-1 lead that they would not relinquish.

“I was waiting on the pitch,” said Bell. “Managed to hit it out.”

Felix Doubront started off the game with a three pitch strike-out of Defenders second baseman Sharlon Schoop, and then got himself into trouble with a hit by pitch and two walks. He got out of danger by allowing one run on a sacrifice fly by Andy D’Alessio, and striking out Mike Mooney to end the threat. He seemed to settle down from there, working around a lead-off double by Brad Boyer in the second and holding Connecticut at bay. The constant work inflated his pitch count early, but he made the most of his 82 pitches and got through the minimum 5 innings to qualify for the win. He allowed one earned run, 2 hits, 2 walks, hit a batter and struck out 8.

“He made good pitches tonight,” said catcher Mark Wagner of Doubront. “He really battled when he needed to.”

Lars Anderson got in on the offensive action in the bottom of the 5th inning with a 1 out double that scored Josh Reddick and gave the Dogs a 3-1 lead. Anderson finished the night 1-4 with the RBI double, and also made a couple of fine defensive plays to keep the Defenders from getting runs. The hit also chased Defenders starter Daryl Maday, who ended up with a line of four and third innings pitched, 6 hits, 3 earned runs, 1 walk and three strikeouts. The poor outing raised his era on the season from 0.66 to 2.00 as he faced the Sea Dogs for the second time on the young season.

The Sea Dogs bullpen locked down the win, as Chad Rhoades pitched scoreless sixth and seventh innings. The game got closer in the eighth, as an error by Zach Borowiak cost the Sea Dogs an out and gave the Defenders runners on the corners with one out. TJ Large induced a double play from the bat of Brett Pill to escape yet another sticky situation.

“Bullpen really pitched great tonight,” said Sea Dogs manager Arnie Beyeler. “It’s big for them to put up scoreless innings for us.”

Bryce Cox came into close it out in the ninth, allowed a base hit to Eddy Martinez-Esteve (who was pinch-run for by Tyler Graham), but Cox kept Connecticut off the board, and ended the game by getting Brad Boyer to ground out to second base.

The crowd of 7,028 was not only treated to a win, by a fireworks show as well. It was truly a masterpiece of a Friday night.

Notes: The Defenders bullpen had to be warned a couple of different times about throwing debris into the propane heaters…This is the second series of the month for Connecticut at Hadlock…Saturday’s game is already a sell-out as Junichi Tazawa takes the mound against Brooks McNiven…The Sea Dogs bullpen has thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings.

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