April 2014

Mickey Pena on the hill tonight

LHP Mickey Pena makes his fifth start of the season for the Sea Dogs in Game 3 of the series against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field. Portland owns the best record in the Eastern League at 15-7 and is 3-2 during a seven-game homestand.

Pre-Game begins at 5:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV beginning at 5:55 PM.

Pre-Game Interview: Mike McCarthy

Reading: Alons0 5, Hernandez 6, Perkins 9, Altherr 8, Hewitt DH, Stassi 3, Moore 2, Cartwright 7, Duran 4, Gonzalez RHP (2-1, 4.28)

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Welch DH, Swihart 2, Rivero 5, Ramos 8, Gibson 7, Hissey 9, Pena LHP (1-0, 5.60)

A few notes today…Full Game Notes at seadogs.com

2013 Salem Red Sox Championship Ring courtesy of Henry Owens.

2013 Salem Red Sox Championship Ring courtesy of Henry Owens.

THAT WOULD MAKE FIVE: The Sea Dogs seek their fifth series win of the season, taking on the Reading Fightin Phils game three of a four-game set…Portland has won the first 2 games of the series, scoring 18 runs on 17 hits and 26 baserunners…The ‘Dogs are 3-2 on the homestand, hitting .287 (58-for-202) and averaging 8.4 runs-per-game (42 overall)…LHP Mickey Pena is seeking his second win of the season, making his fifth start of the year…RHP Severino Gonzalez took a no-decision against the ‘Dogs on April 4th at Reading.

POWER ON THE MOUND AND AT THE PLATE: Portland hit three 2-out homers and RHP Keith Couch (4-0) retired the first 17 batters faced, as the ‘Dogs clubbed the Fightin Phils, 10-2 on Tuesday night…1B Stefan Welch gave Portland a quick 2-0 lead in the first, blasting a two-run homer (#1) to right field…2B Mookie Betts cleared the Maine Monster in the fourth with a three-run shot, two batters later, DH Travis Shaw nailed a two-run bomb, tying Betts for the team lead in homers with four…Couch worked 6.2 innings on five hits, two runs, no walks and fanned a season-high seven batters.

MOOKIE MADNESS:Betts went 3-for-4 with his 4th homer of the season and scored twice on Tuesday night…The Tennessee native has a team-high, 16-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 21 Double-A starts (12 multi-hit games)…The first-year Sea Dog has reached base safely in 51 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 56 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…The 16-game hit streak is the longest since OF Chih-Hsian Chiang’s 16-game hitting streak from July 15, 2011 until he was traded to Seattle…Betts’ .422 average is the highest in Minor League Baseball (more on Page 2).

DIGGING DEEPER ON THE HIT STREAKS: With a hit tonight, Betts will have the longest hitting streak for a Sea Dog since an 18-game hit streak by Brett Ronenberg on April 27-May 15, 2004…Trenton’s Taylor Dugas also has a 16-game hitting streak, starting on April 5th.

TWO OUT MAGIC: Portland scored eight of 10 runs last night two outs and 24 of their last 28 (86%) runs on the homestand have been scored with two down…This season, the ‘Dogs have scored 59 of their 139 runs (42%) with two outs.

HOW ABOUT THESE NUMBERS? Couch is now 15-3 with a 3.29 ERA in his Double-A career…As a starter he is 12-1 with 2.83 ERA…He is currently tied with Bowie’s Tyler Wilson for the league lead in wins and ranks 10th in the E.L. in ERA (2.48).

Couch looks to stay hot against Reading

Mike McCarthy worked six scoreless frames on Monday night, earning his first win of the season.

Mike McCarthy worked six scoreless frames on Monday night, earning his first win of the season.

The Sea Dogs continue their four-game series with the Reading Fightin Phils on Tuesday night at Hadlock Field..Portland is 3-2 during their 7-game homestand.

Minor League Roundup byAlex Speir, great stuff.

Roster Move: RHP Kyle Kraus assigned to High-A Salem…LHP Nate Reed received from High-A Salem.

RHP Keith Couch beat Reading in his first start of the season and carries and 11-1 mark as a starter in Double-A.

RHP Mike Nesseth makes a spot start for Reading…He is expected to throw about 60 pitches…Nesseth has no record and a 3.86 ERA (2 ER/4.2 IP) in 3 relief appearances .

Pre-Game begins at 5:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV beginning at 5:55 PM.

Pre-Game Interview: Mike McCarthy

Reading: Hernandez 6, Alons0 5, Perkins 7, Stassi 3, Altherr 8, Serritella DH, Moore 2, Hewitt 9, Duran 4, Nesseth RHP (0-0, 3.86)

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw DH, Swihart 2, Rivero 7, Ramos 8, Meneses 5, Wilkerson 9, Couch RHP (3-0, 3.42)

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

Keith Couch is 3-0, 2.42 ERA in 4 starts this season, but 11-1 in his Double-A career as a starter (Photo by Kelly O'Connor).

Keith Couch is 3-0, 2.42 ERA in 4 starts this season, but 11-1 in his Double-A career as a starter (Photo by Kelly O’Connor).

BACK ON TRACK: The Sea Dogs improved to 2-2 on the homestand with last night’s victory and continue their four-game set against the Reading Fightin Phils on Tuesday night at Hadlock Field…With last night’s win, the ‘Dogs clinched a winning record at home for April…RHP Keith Couch makes his fifth start of the season and the 20th (34th overall appearance) of his Double-A career…Couch is 11-1, 2.86 ERA (36 ER/113.1 IP) as a starter in Portland…Last night was Portland’s 100th career win against Reading.

MIKE SET THE PACE: RHP Mike McCarthy (1-2) retired 18 of 21 batters faced over six scoreless innings and Portland scored five runs early off LHP Jesse Biddle (2-3), taking the series opener from Reading 8-6…McCarthy hurled three perfect innings before a lead single by 2B Carlos Alonzo, and scattered three hits, no walks and fanned two…2B Mookie Betts and SS Deven Marrero each walked three times and reached base safely in four trips…1B Travis Shaw added a two-run single, with Marrero, Carlos Rivero and Stefan Welch adding run-scoring hits.

MOOKIE MADNESS:Betts went 1-for-2 and reached base four times on Monday night…The Tennessee native has a team high, 15-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 20 Double-A starts (11 multi-hit games)…The first-year Sea Dog has reached base safely in 50 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 55 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…The 15-game hit streak is the longest since OF Chih-Hsian Chiang’s 16-game hitting streak from July 15, 2011 until his promotion to Pawtucket.

THEY DID RALLY BACK: Portland built an 8-0 lead last night, but Reading scored six times off RHP Kyle Kraus (first appearance this season with Portland) and RHP Aaron Kurcz…Kurcz gave up two runs, but stranded two in the ninth to earn his first save of the season.

TWO OUT MAGIC: Portland scored six of eight runs last night two outs and 16 of their last 18 (89%) runs on the homestand have been scored with two down…This season, the ‘Dogs have scored 51 of their 129 runs (40%) with two outs and are hitting .307 (27-for-88) with runners-in-scoring position and two-out.

MARVELOUS MCCARTHY: McCarthy earned his second Double-A win on Monday night…It marked the fourth time that the righty had gone 6+ shutout innings…Twice he has delivered 7 scoreless (8/28/13, 8/2/12) and one other time 6 shutout innings (7/23/12).

The rings from Salem are here.

The rings from Salem are here.

Trot over to Hadlock Field tonight

Mookie Betts made a great diving catch to start a double play yesterday...Sea Dogs front office staff member Ashley Montgomery got a great photo.

Mookie Betts made a great diving catch to start a double play yesterday…Sea Dogs front office staff member Ashley Montgomery got a great photo.

The Sea Dogs open up a seven-game homestand on Monday night against the Reading Fightin Phils at Hadlock Field…Portland dropped two of three to start the homestand against the Trenton Thunder – their first series loss of the season. Fans at Hadlock Field get a treat tonight, as Trot Nixon will throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.

RHP Mike McCarthy makes the start in the series opener and his third career appearance against Reading. McCarthy is 1-0, 4.50 against the Fightins in his career – both appearances last season.

LHP Jesse Biddlethe top pitching prospect in the Phillies system, makes his fifth career start against Portland. On Opening night in Reading, Biddle suffered the loss, allowing 9 hits and 4 runs over 3.1 IP. He gave up a  homer to Mookie Betts to lead-off the season. The highly touted lefty has struggled in his career against Portland, going 1-3, 5.64 ERA (14 ER/22.1 IP) in four previous starts – three last season.

Pre-Game begins at 5:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV beginning at 5:55 PM.

Pre-Game Interview: Derrik Gibson

Reading: Alonso 4, Stassi 3, Hernandez 5, Perkins 7, Serritella DH, Altherr 8, Moore 2, Hewitt 9, Duran 6, Biddle LHP (2-2, 2.86)

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Rivero 5, Coyle DH, Ramos 9, Spring 2, Gibson 7, Wilkerson 8, McCarthy RHP (0-2, 8.59)

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

ON TO THE NEXT ONE: The Sea Dogs continue their seven-game homestand on Monday night against the Reading Fightin Phils…Former Red Sox OF Trot Nixon makes a special appearance, throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and signing autographs…Portland dropped their first series over the weekend, as the Thunder took two of three…The series featured 52 runs, 82 hits, but 18 innings pitched by Portland’s bullpen…The ‘Dogs and Fightins split a four-game series in Reading, PA to begin the season.

DECIDED EARLY: Trenton scored six runs in three of four innings to start the game off Henry Owens (3-1) and held on for a 6-5 on Sunday afternoon…Portland’s entire lineup reached base safely, and rallied back from a 5-0 deficit…The ‘Dogs got on the board when Mookie Betts delivered a run-scoring double in the third…Derrik Gibson added a two-run single and Travis Shaw drove in a run with a double in the fifth…Trenton catcher Gary Sanchez finished 2-for-4 with a homer, double and 3 RBI.

MOOKIE MADNESS:Betts went 1-for-5 with an RBI double in the series finale…Betts has a team-high, 14-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 19 Double-A starts (11 multi-hit games)…The first-year Sea Dog has reached base safely in 49 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 54 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…The 14-game hit streak is the longest since OF Chih-Hsian Chiang’s 16-game hitting streak from July 15, 2011 until his promotion to Pawtucket.

TWO OUT MAGIC: Portland’s last 10 runs have been scored with two outs…This season, the ‘Dogs have scored 45 of their 121 runs (37%) with two outs and hitting .291 (23-79) with runners-in-scoring position and two-out.

¡VAMONOS RAMOS!:RF Henry Ramos went 1-for-3 with a walk on Sunday and has a season-high 9-game hitting streak: 14-for-37 (.378) with 7 RBI…C Blake Swihart has hit safely in in nine of has last 10 starts: 23-for-49 (.469), including his first Hadlock Field homer of the season on Saturday, a solo-shot in the 10th inning to tie the game at six.

IT HAPPENS TO THE BEST: Owens allowed six earned runs on Sunday, the most he’s allowed in 11 career Double-A starts…The lefty began the season with a 15.1 scoreless streak, but has given up 16 earned runs in his last 16 IP…LHP Jesse Biddle has yielded just one earned run in his last 18 IP (0.50 ERA).

Team Photo Day at Hadlock Field.

Team Photo Day at Hadlock Field.

Saturday afternoon is alright for Baseball

The Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder continue their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Hadlock Field…Portland has lost two straight, including last night’s 14-10 loss.

Pre-Game begins at 12:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Bob Kipper Part 2

Trenton: Williams 8, Gamel 7, Segedin 5, Roller DH, Sanchez 2, Refsnyder 4, Angelini 6, Dugas 9, Fiorito 3, Bleich LHP (2-2, 5.40)

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Rivero 5, Swihart 2, Coyle DH, Ramos 9, Hissey 7, Wilkerson 8, Augliera RHP (2-1, 3.79)

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

INTERESTNG START: The Sea Dogs and Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) continue their three-game series on Saturday afternoon at Hadlock Field…Portland has dropped two straight since a season-high six-game winning streak…Trenton has taken two of three in the season series, scoring double-digits in both wins (10 runs on April 8th at Arm & Hammer Park)…RHP Mike Augliera makes his fourth start of the season – he has 10 scoreless innings since April 12th…LHP Jeremy Bleich will make his fifth start of the year for the Thunder.

BATS SIZZLE IN APRIL: The Trenton Thunder snapped a 10-10 tie with a four-run ninth to take the series opener from the Sea Dogs, 14-10 on Friday night…Pinch-hitter Taylor Dugas knocked in the winning run when he was hit by RHP Michael Olmsted…SS Ali Castillo followed with a two-out, bases-clearing double…Both teams exchanged four spots in the first inning, and the Thunder had three 4-run innings…C Matt Spring clubbed his second homer of the week, a two-run shot, giving the ‘Dogs a 6-4 lead after three.

MOOKIE MADNESS: 2B Mookie Betts went 2-for-6 with two runs scored on Friday night…Betts has a team-high, 12-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 17 Double-A starts…The first-year Sea Dog has reached base safely in 47 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 52 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…The 12-game hit streak is the longest since OF J.C. Linares finished 2013 with a 12-game hitting streak.

¡VAMONOS RAMOS!: OF Henry Ramos went 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored Friday night…The four hits tie a career high for the outfielder and marked the first time he has logged four hits since April 6, 2012 when he did it against the Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) for the Greenville Drive.

STILL HAVING A GREAT START: OF Shannon Wilkerson finished 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and has reached base safely in 16 straight starts…Wilkerson it hitting .328 (21-for-64) with a homer and 12 RBI.

SLUGFEST CITY: The 24 combined runs Friday night were the most in a Portland Sea Dogs game since June 1st, 2011 against the New Britain Rock Cats…The teams combined for 27 runs as the Sea Dogs beat the Rock Cats 18-9…August 23, 2012 saw a 14-9 win for the ‘Dogs over the B-Mets.

 

Sea Dogs back home against Trenton

The Sea Dogs open up a seven-game homestand on Friday night against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate)…Portland had their six-game winning streak snapped last night in Binghamton.

Highlight of triple play from Monday

Pre-Game begins at 5:40 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Bob Kipper

Trenton: Williams 8, Gamel 7, Segedin 5, Roller 3, Refsnyder DH, Fiorito 4, Sanchez 9, Blaser 2, Castillo 6, Tracy LHP (3-0, 2.20)

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 5, Welch 3, Coyle DH, Ramos 9, Spring 2, Hissey 7, Wilkerson 8, Pena LHP (1-0, 2.13)

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

NICE TO BE BACK HOME: The Sea Dogs return home after a 5-1 roadtrip, opening up a seven-game homestand on Friday night against the Trenton Thunder (Yankees affiliate) at Hadlock Field…Portland had their six-game winning streak snapped on Thursday night, but finished April 8-4 on the road…The Sea Dogs split a two-game series on April 8-9 at Trenton, losing the opener 10-1 but took game two 9-2…LHP Mickey Pena, who fanned a career-high 11 batters in his previous start, gets the call for the ‘Dogs in game one of the series.

Sea Dogs Pitching Coach Bob Kipper joins us on the Pre-Game Show.

Sea Dogs Pitching Coach Bob Kipper joins us on the Pre-Game Show.

WALK THIS WAY: Pinch-hitter Kyle Johnson delivered a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, giving the Binghamton Mets a 5-4 walk-off win over the Sea Dogs in the series finale…SS Deven Marrero led Portland’s offense, going 2-for-5 with his second straight multi-RBI game…Peter Hissey and Stefan Welch each had two hits for the ‘Dogs…Portland led 4-2, but Binghamton scored single runs in the seventh and eighth off LHP Nate Reed…1B Matt Clark tied the game in the eighth with a solo-homer.

MOOKIE MADNESS: 2B Mookie Betts went 1-for-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly on Thursday…Betts has a team-high, 11-game hitting streak and has reached base safely in all 16 Double-A starts…The first-year Sea Dog has reached base safely in 46 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 51 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…Last 143 games for Betts (start of 2013): .330 (174-for-528), 17 HR, 73 RBI, 114 RS, 43 2B, 5 3B, 88 BB, 64 SO and 45 of 50 in SB…After not reaching base on Opening Night, OF Shannon Wilkerson has reached base safely in his last 15 starts.

SOLID AGAIN: RHP Keith Couch took a no-decision, despite earning his first quality start of the season…Couch worked six innings, allowing five hits, two runs, three walks and two strikeouts…Reed yielded two runs on three hits over IP and RHP Jose Valdez tossed two scoreless and fanned three…RHP Miguel Celestino took the loss, facing only three batters in the 10th.

STILL HAVING A GREAT START: C Blake Swihart went 0-for-5 last night and did not reach base for the first time this season…Swihart is hitting .316 (18-for-57) with a homer and 10 RBI.

HE WAS A ROAD WARRIOR: 1B Travis Shaw blasted his first 2 homers of the season on the trip and finished 8-for-20 (.400) with 7 RBI.

Lucky 7? We’ll see tonight in Binghamton

The Sea Dogs have won six straight (season-high) and continue their six-game roadtrip on Wednesday night against the Binghamton Mets from NYSEG Stadium. Right-hander Keith Couch (3-0, 2.20) makes his fourth start of the season, but the 19th of his Double-A career, he is 11-1, 2.82 ERA.  Last night was Portland’s fifth postponement this season – they’ll have four doubleheaders in May, but four against Binghamton.

How about Mookie Betts… Has reached base safely in all 15 Double-A starts and 45 straight regular season games dating back to August 22013, but 50 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…Last 142 games for Betts (start of 2013): .330 (173-for-524), 17 HR, 72 RBI, 113 RS, 43 2B, 5 3B, 88 BB, 64 SO and 45 of 50 in SB.

Betts leads the Eastern League in: Average, On-Base Percentage, runs scored and tied for total bases.

Here’s some nuggets on the team

  • With a win tonight, Portland will have their longest win streak since a 7-gamer last April 27-May 4
  • ‘Dogs have won six straight road games – longest since 2011.
  • Portland’s 12-4 start is their best since going 13-3 in 2008…The team’s best start is 19-3 in 1995 – Billy McMillon was on that team.
  • 12-4 mark is tied for the 2nd best overall record with Las Vegas (Triple-A) and Visalia (High-A)…The Dunedin Blue Jays (High-A) have the best record in minor league baseball at 15-4 (.789).

Highlight of triple play from Monday

Pre-Game begins at 6:15 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Matt Spring

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Welch 5, Swihart 2, Rivero DH, Ramos 9, Hissey 7, Wilkerson 8, Couch RHP (3-0, 2.20)

Binghamton: Ceciliani 8, Reynolds 6, Burgamy 5, Clark 3, Vaughn 9, Lawley 7, Taijeron DH, Carillo 2, Tovar 4, Peavey RHP (0-1, 6.75)

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

Matt Spring hit his 80th professional homer on Tuesday night...Congrats Matt (photo courtesy of Kelly O'Connor by Sitting Still Photography)

Matt Spring hit his 80th professional homer on Tuesday night…Congrats Matt (photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor by Sitting Still Photography)

THAT MAKES FIVE: Portland was postponed for the fifth time in 21 days to start the season, and conclude their six-game roadtrip on Thursday night against the Binghamton Mets from NYSEG Stadium…The Sea Dogs have won six straight and 10 of their last 11 – the 12-4 mark is their best start since going 13-3 to begin the 2008 campaign…The ‘Dogs have also won six straight road games for the first time since 2011…RHP Keith Couch (3-0, 2.20) makes his fourth start of the season and the 19th of his Double-A career (11-1, 2.82 in 18 starts).

IT’S SPRING TIME: DH Matt Spring clubbed his first homer of the season, a two-run homer in the 11th inning, lifting the Sea Dogs to a 5-3 win over the B-Mets on Tuesday night…Portland’s bullpen tossed 5.2 scoreless on 4 hits, 3 walks and 9 strikeouts…LHP Robby Scott (2-0) earned the win, fanning three batters on 2 hits over 3 IP…RHP Jon Velasquez (0-2) took the loss, yielding a lead-off single in the 11th to Henry Ramos and the two-run blast by Spring.

 

MOOKIE MADNESS: 2B Mookie Betts went 2-for-4 (two walks) on Tuesday and has reached base safely in all 15 Double-A starts and 45 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 50 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…Last 142 games for Betts (start of 2013): .330 (173-for-524), 17 HR, 72 RBI, 113 RS, 43 2B, 5 3B, 88 BB, 64 SO and 45 of 50 in SB…C Blake Swihart has reached base safely in his first 13 starts in Double-A…OF Shannon Wilkerson has reached base safely in his last 14 games.

GOT OFF TO A GOOD START: RHP Mike McCarthy made his third start of the season on Tuesday night, working 5.1 innings on seven hits and three runs…McCarthy left the game after 1B Jayce Boyd’s run-scoring single to tie the game…SS Deven Marrero gave Portland a 3-1 lead with a two-run single in the fifth.

WELCOME BACK: RHP Aaron Kurcz was activated from the disabled on Monday, and pitched a scoreless eighth inning in game two of the series…The righty fanned the side and allowed one hit…Kurcz missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, and had not pitched since July 21, 2012 at New Hampshire.

 THREE WAS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Kurcz, McCarthy, RHP Michael Olmsted and Scott each fanned three in Tuesday’s game…Olmsted worked 1.2 innings on one hit, one walk and retired the final two batters in the sixth inning with two runners on base.

Sea Dogs look for their sixth straight win

Coyle to Betts to Shaw...Portland turns the first triple play in franchise history.

Coyle to Betts to Shaw…Portland turns the first triple play in franchise history.

The Sea Dogs made history last night, turning their first triple play in franchise history, and taking game one of the series 7-4 over the B-Mets. Portland has won five straight and nine of their last 10.

Sean Coyle started the triple play on a high bouncer hit by Brian Burgamy with runners at first and second. Coyle’s throw was low, but picked by Mookie Betts, who got Burgamy at first base.

Highlight of triple play

Pre-Game begins at 6:15 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Travis Shaw

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Marrero 6, Shaw 3, Rivero 5, Swihart 2, Ramos 9, Spring DH, Hissey 7, Wilkerson 8, McCarthy RHP

Binghamton: Ceciliani 8, Reynolds 6, Burgamy 4, Clark DH, Plawecki 2, Boyd 3, Lawley 5, Vaughn 9, Johnson 7, Robles RHP

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

WHAT A START: With last night’s victory, the Sea Dogs won their fifth straight (season-high) and improved to 4-0 on the trip…Portland made history last night, turning the first triple play in franchise history…The historic feat ended the first inning on Brian Burgamy’s ground ball to Coyle, who started the 5-4-3 triple play…The Sea Dogs have won nine of their last 10 games, scoring at least six runs in those nine wins…Portland’s 11-4 start is their best since going 12-3 to begin 2008.

 HIGH-FIVE CITY: The ‘Dogs won their fifth straight game with last night’s 7-4 win over the Mets in the series opener at NYSEG Stadium…LHP Henry Owens (3-0) worked six innings on four hits, three runs (two earned), four walks and three strikeouts, earning the win…1B Travis Shaw and RF Shannon Wilkerson each homered…Portland received a hit from eight of nine starters, including multi-hit games from 2B Mookie Betts, Shaw and C Blake Swihart…RHP Miguel Celestino tossed a perfect ninth for his first save of the year.

VIDEO GAME NUMBERS: Betts hasreached base safely in all 14 Double-A starts and has reached base safely in 44 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 49 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…C Blake Swihart has reached base safely in his first 12 starts in Double-A…Wilkerson has reached base safely in 13 straight starts.CAME UP BIG LATE: There were nine combined runs scored during innings 6-7 in the series opener…Portland led 5-0 after 5 ½ innings, scoring three in the sixth on run-scoring doubles by DH Stefan Welch and Swihart…CF Henry Ramos added an RBI single…Binghamton scored all their runs off Owens in the sixth…Burgamy nailed an RBI double off the left-field wall and DH Jayce Boyd drove home two with a double.

HISSEY CAN DRIVE: OF Peter Hissey extended his hitting streak to four games by going 1-for-4 last night…Hissey drove in the first run of the game with an RBI groundout in the second inning off losing pitcher RHP Brett Pill (0-3)…The West Chester, PA native has an RBI in four of six games.

WELCOME BACK: RHP Aaron Kurcz was activated from the disabled yesterday…Kurcz missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, and hasn’t pitched since July 21, 2012 with Portland at New Hampshire.

Monday night in Binghamton

The doorway to the B-Mets front office.

The doorway to the B-Mets front office.

The Sea Dogs open up a four-game series on Monday night against the Binghamton Mets from NYSEG Stadium…LHP Henry Owens makes his fourths start of the season

Pre-Game begins at 6:15 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Peter Hissey

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Wilkerson 9, Shaw 3, Welch DH, Swihart 2, Coyle 5, Ramos 8, Hissey 7, Gibson 6, Owens LHP

Binghamton: Johnson 7, Reynolds 4, Burgamy 3, Plawecki 2, Boyd DH, Ceciliani 8, Lawley 5, Taijeron 9, Tovar 6, Pill RHP

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

BACK AT IT ON MONDAY: Easter Sunday was a league wide off day – the Sea Dogs resume their seven-game roadtrip on Monday night against the Binghamton Mets from NYSEG Stadium…Portland began the first part of their trip by sweeping the New Britain Rock Cats in a three-game series over two days…Portland and Binghamton managed just one game last Monday at Hadlock Field, the ‘Dogs won 9-4…LHP Henry Owens makes his 10th Double-A start and his second straight against Binghamton.

COMPLETEING THE SWEEP: RHP Mike Augliera (2-1) tossed six scoreless and 2B Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 (second homer), leading the Sea Dogs to a 6-1 win over the Rock Cats on Saturday night at New Britain Stadium…Augliera gave up just three hits on two walks and fanned two…Betts scored three times and blasted his second homer of the season to lead-off the ninth inning…CF Shannon Wilkerson finished 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the first…1B Travis Shaw, RF Henry Ramos and 1B Stefan Welch each had RBIs in the win.

VIDEO GAME NUMBERS: Betts hasreached base safely in all 13 Double-A starts and has reached base safely in 43 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 48 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…C Blake Swihart has reached base safely in his first 11 starts in Double-A…On Saturday, eight of nine starters had at least one hit.

NICE WORK AGAIN BY THE ‘PEN: RHP Matty Ott (turned 24 yesterday) and LHP Robby Scott closed out Saturday’s win with scoreless appearance…Scott has not allowed a run in his first 4 Double-A outings…The lefty retired 19 straight batters from April 6-14, earning his first Double-A win on April 14th vs. Binghamton.

WELCOME BACK: RHP Aaron Kurcz was activated from the disabled list earlier today…Kurcz missed all of last season due to Tommy John surgery, and hasn’t pitched since July 21, 2012 with Portland at New Hampshire…The right-hander was received from the Chicago Cubs as the player to be named later in the Theo Epstein compensation (March 14, 2012).

 3-for-3: INF Derrik Gibson, OF Peter Hissey and Ramos all have three-game hitting streaks…Gibson has hit safely in four of six starts and went 3-for-3 with a double on April 13th vs. New Britain…Hissey has an RBI in 3 of 5 starts, since joining the Sea Dogs from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Sea Dogs look for the series sweep in New Britain

View of the Sea Dogs dugout.

View of the Sea Dogs dugout.

The Sea Dogs and the Rock Cats conclude a three-game series in two days on Saturday night at New Britain Stadium…Portland swept a twinbill from the ‘Cats on Friday night. Tomorrow is a league wide off day for Easter Sunday – the ‘Dogs resume the second part of their roadtrip on Monday night in Binghamton.

Pre-Game begins at 6:15 PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com or watch at MILB.TV.

Pre-Game Interview: Mickey Pena

Portland lineup: Betts 4, Wilkerson 8, Shaw 5, Welch 3 Swihart 2, Coyle DH, Ramos 9, Hissey 7, Gibson 6, Augliera RHP

New Britain: Ortiz 9, Hanson 4, Rodriguez DH, Vargas 3, Koch 2, Kvasnicka 8, Waring 5, Mejia 6, Thomas 7, Gilmartin LHP

Notes for day…Complete notes at seadogs.com

LAY OFF DIDN’T MATTER: The Sea Dogs resumed action last night after three straight postponements, and swept the New Britain Rock Cats in a doubleheader, 6-4 and 6-0…Tonight is the series finale, with the entire Eastern League off tomorrow for Easter Sunday…RHP Mike Augliera earned his first Double-A win last Saturday at Hadlock Field, tossing seven strong innings against the ‘Cats…LHP Sean Gilmartin beat Portland last Sunday, yielding two runs (one earned) over 6 IP.

CLEAN SWEEP: 1B Travis Shaw went 4-for-4 with a season-best 4 RBI, leading the Sea Dogs to a 6-4 win in the twinbill opener…Shaw nailed a two-run single in the third and a two-run homer in the fifth…LF Carlos Rivero belted a two-run homer in game one…In the nightcap, LHP Mickey Pena fanned a career-high 11 batters over 4.2 IP and DH Blake Swihart crushed a three-run homer in a 6-0 win…Portland’s staff fanned 16 batters in game two, their most since last April 5th against Trenton when they fanned 17.

3-for-3: RHP Keith Couch has won all three starts this season, working five innings in the opener…Couch gave up season highs in hits (8) and runs (4), but did not issue a walk and fanned five…The Elmont, NY native is 11-1, 2.82 (34 ER/108.1 IP) in his Double-A career as a starter…Pena’s 11 strikeouts were the most since RHP Anthony Ranaudo tied a team record with 13 punch-outs last June 13 vs. Erie.

FLAWLESS RELIEF: RHP Miguel Celestino, RHP Michael Olmsted and RHP Noe Ramirez combined to pitch 4.1 scoreless frames in the doubleheader…Olmsted earned the win in game two, working 1.1 innings on one hit…Ramirez pitched two scoreless in the opener for his first save and Celestino fanned the side in the nightcap to end the game.

VIDEO GAME NUMBERS: 2B Mookie Betts reached base in both games last night and has reached safely in all 12 starts in Double-A…Betts has reached base safely in 42 straight regular season games dating back to August 2, 2013, but 47 including last year’s Carolina League playoffs…Swihart has reached base safely in all 10 starts in Double-A.

ENDED BUT A GOOD NIGHT: OF Shannon Wilkerson had his nine-game hitting streak snapped in game one, but walked twice and scored a run…In game two, Wilkerson laced a run-scoring single with one-out in the third inning off losing pitcher LHP Taylor Rogers (0-3)…LF Peter Hissey went 2-for-3 in game two with an RBI double.

Sea Dogs strike in New Britain, sweep Rock Cats 6-4 and 6-0

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Portland Sea Dogs (9-4) improved to 5-1 against the New Britain Cats (4-9), sweeping Friday night’s doubleheader 6-4 and 6-0 at New Britain Stadium. Portland clubbed out 22 hits in the twinbill, receiving a career-high 11 strikeouts by Mickey Pena in the nightcap.

Game 1 Box Score      Game 2 Box Score

GAME ONE RECAP The Portland Sea Dogs didn’t seem fazed by Mother Nature’s doom, which produced three postponements in a row, and downed the New Britain Rock Cats 6-4, in game one of a doubleheader Friday night at New Britain Stadium. The win marked the second in a row for the ‘Dogs and fourth in five games against the ‘Cats.

Portland’s bats came out swinging against New Britain’s D.J. Baxendale and broke through for four runs in the third inning. Shannon Wilkerson walked and Mookie Betts followed with a single to left that kick started the rally. Two batters later, Travis Shaw brought home the pair of speedsters with a single to center, and Portland had the 2-0 lead.

Carlos Rivero was next to step into the batter’s box and faced Baxendale (0-2) for the fourth time on the young season. The leftfielder took a hanging breaking ball over the wall in left for a two-run shot that doubled Portland’s lead to 4-0. Rivero improved to 4-for-5 with four RBI against Baxendale as he collected three hits against him in the April 10th affair.

New Britain didn’t wait long to respond against Keith Couch and plated a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame. With two down, Matt Koch singled and was backed up by a run scoring double by Corey Wimberly, which cut the deficit to 4-1.

Couch (3-0) danced his way out of trouble in the fourth and struck out back-to-back hitters looking, with two on, to end a threat and keep the lead at three. Shaw rewarded his starter with two more insurance runs on a two run homer crushed to center in the top of the fifth that made the lead 6-1.

New Britain continued to climb out of the hole and responded with three more of its own in the bottom of the fifth. Back-to-back hits, a single and double began the inning and with one out it was Mike Kvasnicka that drove home the pair with a double to center. Nate Hanson followed with a bloop single that brought home the third run of the inning and made it 6-4.

Couch gave up his first earned runs of the season, but finished five innings and allowed the four runs on eight hits; he did not walk a batter and struck out five.

Noe Ramirez took over for the starter and closed the game out with two scoreless innings and earned his first save of the season.

Baxendale went the first five for New Britain and gave up the six runs, all earned, on nine hits; he walked one and struck out two. Former big leaguer Matt Guerrier was the first out of the pen and silenced the Sea Dogs over the final two frames.

GAME TWO RECAP

Mickey Pena didn’t earn the win in game two, but the lefty fanned a career-high 11 batters over 4.2 innings, as the Sea Dogs completed the doubleheader sweep with a 6-0 win over the Rock Cats. Portland pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts, the most since they had 17 last April 5th vs. Trenton.

Pena left due to pitch count, yielding only two hits, one walk, and induced 22 swings-and-misses. The Texas native threw 56 of 93 pitches for strikes – in just his sixth Double-A start.

Blake Swihart (2-for-4) put the icing on the cake, cracking his first Double-A homer, a three-run shot off Ryan O’Rourke during a four-run fifth. Stefan Welch knocked losing pitcher Taylor Rogers out of the game, delivering a one-out RBI single. Rogers (0-3) suffered his second loss in a week to Portland, giving up six hits and four runs over 4.1 IP.

Michael Olmsted (1-0) relieved Pena in the fifth inning and earned his first win of the season. Olmsted pitched 1.1 innings, giving one hit and a walk. The Rock Cats had only three hits in the contest.

Miguel Celestino fanned the side in the seventh inning, finishing off the 16-strikeout performance.

Portland jumped on Rogers in the third inning, scoring two runs off the Twins #19 Prospect. Derrik Gibson led off the frame with a single and scored on Peter Hissey’s (2-for-3) double. With one out, Shannon Wilkerson nailed a 1-2 pitch to left-center field for a run-scoring single.

The entire lineup for the Rock Cats fanned at least once, with three players (Aderling Mejia, Reynaldo Rodriguez and Brandon Waring) striking out three times. Portland’s last two doubleheader sweeps on the road are both in New Britain Stadium. The last on July 22, 2013.

The Sea Dogs and Rock Cats get set to wrap up the three-game, two-day series with the finale, Saturday at 6:35 pm from New Britain Stadium. The ‘Dogs will send righty Mike Augliera (1-1, 5.54) to the hill for his third start. The New Britain Rock Cats will send RHP Sean Gilmartin (1-1, 3.27) to the mound. Radio coverage begins at 6:15 PM on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network and http://www.seadogs.com. Coverage on MiLB.TV kicks-off at 6:25 PM.

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