Saturday in the Park

This small catcher's glove helps sharpen receiving skills.

This small catcher’s glove helps sharpen receiving skills.

The Sea Dogs and New Hampshire Fisher Cats continue their three-game series on Saturday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium…With a win tonight, the ‘Dogs will be 33 games over .500 for the first time in team history. LHP Brian Johnson, the league leader in ERA (1.87) makes his 19th start of the season.

29-year old Austin Bibens-Dirkx makes his 33rd appearance of the season and the fourth of his career against Portland…The righty has not allowed more than 2 earned runs since April 10th vs. Binghamton.

Pre-Game begins at 6:45PM on 95.9/95.5 and the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network…Listen online at seadogs.com.

Lineups
#SeaDogsBaseball Miller 5, Dent 8, Coyle 4, De La Cruz 7, Blair 2, Almanzar DH, Welch 3, Roof 9, Meneses 6, Johnson LH (9-2, 1.87)

@fishercats Berti DH, Mesa 8, Burns 3, Glenn 9, Ochinko 2, Nolan 6, Crouse 7, Pierre 5, Flores 4, Bibens-Dirx RH (6-2, 2.81)

A few notes for today

POSSIBLE RECORD TONIGHT: The Sea Dogs are 32 games over .500 for the first time since August 24, 1995 (same record at 82-50) and can set the franchise mark for games over .500, tonight, against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays affiliate) from Northeast Delta Dental Stadium…Portland has their second, 7-game winning streak, their first was May 19-24 against Binghamton and New Hampshire…With a win tonight, the ‘Dogs will have their longest winning streak since April 13-20, 2008, when they won eight in a row.

CLUTCH LATE: RHP Keith Couch (8-1) fired seven strong innings on three runs (two earned), as the ‘Dogs made it seven straight wins, 4-3 on Friday night over New Hampshire…Couch worked out of a tough jam in the seventh, fanning Melky Mesa and Andy Burns with two runners in scoring position…LHP Robby Scott fanned the side in the eighth and RHP Noe Ramirez worked around a one-out double in the ninth inning and earned his 15th save of the season…1B Stefan Welch went 2-for-4 with a homer and 2 RBI…LF Keury De La Cruz finished 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the sixth.

RANKING THE ‘DOGS: The Top 5 winning percentages (Full-Season Clubs) in Minor League Baseball: Low-A Kane County 85-45 (.654), Low-A Asheville 84-46 (.646), Low-A Savannah 82-45 (.646), Low-A Hagerstown 82-49 (.626), and Portland 82-50 (.621)…The Red Sox have the 5th best record as an organization in MiLB at 386-321 (.546).

JOHNSON’S JUST DEALING: LHP Brian Johnson is a combined 12-3, 2.26 ERA between High-A Salem and Portland…The southpaw has compiled a 9-2 record with a 1.87 ERA with Portland (tops in the league)…13 of his 18 starts have been quality starts and 64% of his pitches have been strikes.

MORE ON 80: Portland’s last playoff appearance was 2008, being swept (3-0) to the Trenton Thunder in the Northern Division Championship Series…The Sea Dogs lone Eastern League Championship was 2006, beating the Akron Aeros 3-2…Binghamton has clinched the second playoff spot in the Eastern Division.

 

HOME COOKING: Portland needs one win in the final homestand for the second best home record in team history…The ‘Dogs would need to the win the final eight home games to break the 1995 team for the best mark at Hadlock Field (49-23)…Portland is two wins away from 1,500 in team history.

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