Portland, Maine - The Portland Sea Dogs (58-29) returned home from an eight-game road trip and swept away the New Britain Rock Cats (42-42) 4-0 and 4-2 in the twinbill Saturday night at Hadlock Field. The wins send the season series to 10-5 in favor of the Sea Dogs.
GAME ONE RECAP
Right-hander Mike McCarthy (8-3) tossed five scoreless innings and Portland (57-29) used a three-run fourth, defeating the New Britain Rock Cats (42-41), 4-0 in the opener of Saturday's doubleheader. McCarthy's eight wins are second on the team, behind tomorrow's starter Henry Owens (11-3).
McCarthy surrendered just three hits, one walk and one hit batter over 5 innings pitched. The righty worked around back-to-back singles in his final frame, and finished his outing with five strikeouts.
Rock Cats starter Virgil Vasquez (4-5) pitched a complete-game, but took the loss. Vasquez gave up eight hits and four runs over 6 IP.
Portland went to work right away, picking up a run in the first inning off Vasquez. Derrik Gibson led off with a double and moved to third on a single from Shannon Wilkerson. Sean Coyle knocked home his 42nd run with a sac-fly to center.
The 'Dogs delivered the knockout punch with a three-run fourth. Michael Almanzar was hit-by-a-pitch and scored on a double by David Chester. With two outs, Shannon Wilkerson delivered a two-run single.
LHP Robby Scott wrapped up the win with two scoreless frames on two hits.
GAME TWO RECAP
Luis Diaz was called upon to make his second home Double-A start in the nightcap of the doubleheader. The righty was greeted by a leadoff single and double from the first two New Britain hitters in the first. Former Sea Dog Reynaldo Rodriguez hit a sacrifice fly to center and plated Aaron Hicks to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Portland responded in the bottom half of the frame and took the lead with two runs of its own. Derrik Gibson picked up a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and was in scoring position for Sean Coyle.
Pat Dean returned to the mound in the second and was haunted by the second baseman, again. The bases were loaded for Coyle and he deposited a fly ball into shallow right that fell just beyond the dive of Rodriguez for a two-run single, which made it 4-1.
Diaz took the lead and never looked back. The righty pitched around two base runners over the next four innings before New Britain got a run back in the sixth. It was a mirror image of the first, with the second run scoring on a sacrifice fly by Rodriguez, following a single and double.
Dean (6-4) pitched a complete game and took the loss for the 'Cats giving up the four runs over six innings.
With the doubleheader sweep the Sea Dogs improved to 29-games above .500 for the first time this season, and the first time since 1995.
The Sea Dogs and New Britain Rock Cats (Minnesota Affiliate) conclude their three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field, game time is 1:00 PM. LHP Henry Owens (11-3, 2.30) makes his 17th start of the season for Portland. New Britain counters with LHP Taylor Rogers (7-5, 4.00). Radio coverage begins at 12:40PM on the WPEI U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network. MiLB.tv coverage begins at 12:55PM.