Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dogs Cough It Up Again

Trenton, NJ) – The Portland Sea Dogs (44-48) squandered a 6-0 lead in the series opener and on Saturday night, an early 4-0 lead was not enough, losing to the Trenton Thunder (46-46) 6-5 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,837Portland has dropped two of three in the series and falls 4.5 games behind the New Britain Rock Cats for the second playoff spot in the Eastern League’s Northern Division.

The Sea Dogs scored all four runs off starter RHP Kanekoa Texeira in the third inning. CF Josh Reddick began the rally with a one out walk and advanced safely to second base on a throwing error by Texeira during SS Argenis Diaz’s fielder’s choice. LF Ryan Kalish hit the next pitch into left-center field for a run-scoring single and 3B Jorge Jimenez nailed an RBI double up the first-base line. With two outs, DH Jon Still, who leads the Red Sox system in RBI, tagged a 2-run double over the leftfielder, giving Portland a 4-0 lead.

Texeira left after four innings, allowing four runs (one earned) on four hits, three walks but seven strikeouts. Portland starter RHP Jarod Plummer (ND) tossed five scoreless innings on four hits, three walks and one strikeout. Plummer stranded six runners and worked out of a bases-loaded one out jam in the fifth inning.

Trenton rallied for five runs off Portland’s bullpen in the seventh inning. RHP Chad Rhoades issued three walks and was relieved by LHP Dustin Richardson. 19-year old catcher Jesus Montero worked a full-count and blasted a 2-out grand-slam off the left-field billboards. 1B Chris Malec followed by reaching on a 2-base error by 2B Ryan Khoury and scored when RF Edwar Gonzalez reached safely on Diaz’s throwing error.

The Sea Dogs came right back in the top of the eighth inning to tie the game against RHP Grant Duff (2-0). Still led off with a double and was lifted for pinch-runner Reid Engel. Khoury moved Engel to third base on a ground out to second. RF Jason Place took ball three but it was dropped by Montero (passed ball), enabling the tying run to score. Trenton won it in the eighth inning due to a second error by Diaz. CF Austin Krum singled and 2B Reegie Corona walked with one out. SS Eduardo Nunez hit a ground ball in the hole towards third base and Diaz threw over the head of Jimenez to load the bases. DH Noah Hall swung at the first pitch from Richardson and produced a sac-fly to center field.

RHP Jose Valdez pitched a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save of the season for Trenton. Duff improved to 2-0 and Richardson suffered to 2-2. The Sea Dogs struck out a season-high 15 times and has fanned 35 times in the series.

The Sea Dogs wrap up their 4-game set in Trenton on Sunday afternoon beginning at 1:05 PM from Waterfront Park. Catch all the action on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network beginning at 12:35 PM with the Pre-Game Show built by CorrectDeck.

Notes…Still leads the Red Sox system with 26 doubles and 54 RBI with his 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 double performance on Saturday...Portland has scored one unearned run in 16.1 IP against Trenton’s bullpen in the series…The home run allowed by Richardson was just the second he has yielded this season…Plummer now has a team-high scoreless streak of 16 IP dating back to July 4.

Recap and Boxscore here



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