New Britain, CT - The New Britain Rock Cats lost 8-7 to the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday
evening at New Britain Stadium.
The Rock Cats squandered a five-run lead in the fourth and were trailing by the sixth. They cut the margin down to one in both the eighth and ninth innings, but Portland would not relinquish their lead.
The Cats jumped out 3-0 in the bottom of the first. 3B Miguel Sano sent a shot down the left field line that bounced around near the visitors' bullpen and allowed SS Danny Santana to score all the way from first. C Josmil Pinto followed that up with a two-run home run that cleared the left field wall, his first homer since July 6th at Portland.
New Britain would not let up in the second as both CF Angel Morales and Santana scored on a double hit to deep center by 2B Nate Hanson.
Portland would even the score in the top of the third, getting five runs on seven consecutive hits - highlighted by a three-run home run by CF Ronald Bermudez. The Sea Dogs struck for seven singles, one double and the home run off of New Britain starterRHP Kyle Davies (0-0) in the game.
Davies, who last pitched for Kansas City in 2011, went 3 1/3 innings in his first game with the Rock Cats and did not figure into the decision. The righthander gave up five runs, all earned, on nine hits while walking none and striking out six.
C Christian Vazquez's solo home run to lead off the top of the sixth made it a 6-5 game and completed the comeback for the Sea Dogs.
A throwing error by Pinto on a steal attempt by 3B Ryan Dent in the eighth allowed LF Tony Thomas to scamper home from third to make it a 7-5 game. Thomas led off the inning with a double to center and then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Bermudez.
3B Miguel Sano led off the bottom of the eighth with his third home run in as many days to cut the Portland lead down to one, but the Portland batters had different ideas in the ninth.
DH Garin Cecchini drove home SS Heiker Meneses with a single to center to make it an 8-6 game and breathed a sigh of relief when RHP Bobby Lanigan, who gave up a run on a sacrifice fly by Morales to bring the Rock Cats within one, got Sano to bounce into the force out at second to close the game.
Portland starter RHP Terry Doyle (1-3) battled through the early runs to earn his first win of the season. Doyle struck out 10 over 7 1/3 innings of work, allowing the five early runs on just four hits. LHP Blake Martin (2-2), who arrived in New Britain earlier in the day from Triple-A Rochester, took the loss. Lanigan, the former Rock Cat, earned his second save of the season.
The Rock Cats will send RHP Virgil Vasquez (3-2) to the hill to face off against RHP Anthony Ranaudo (8-3) for a 12:05 PM Wednesday game.