Yancarlos Ortiz hit his first home run of the season, a two run shot in the eighth inning off Eammon Portice to lift the New Britain Rock Cats to a 7-6 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs Saturday evening at Hadlock Field. The Rock Cats collect just their fifth win in 21 games against the Sea Dogs this season. Portland drops to 43-45 on the season, while New Britain improves to 25-64.
The Sea Dogs battled back from a 5-0 deficit in the first inning to take a 6-5 lead in the seventh, only to let the game slip away on the Ortiz homer in the eighth.
Yamaico Navarro hit a solo shot over the Maine Monster off former Sea Dog Chris Province in the seventh inning to snap a 5-5 tie and give the Sea Dogs their first lead of the night, 6-5. Despite the giving up the homer to Navarro, Province (3-1) would earn the win tossing two innings allowing the one run on three hits.
Portland starter Kyle Weiland would like to redo the first inning. Other than the first inning, Weiland was perfect, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. However, the first inning was a different story as the Rock Cats batted around in the first scoring five runs on seven hits. Erik Lis and Ortiz had RBI singles. While Steve Singleton added a RBI double and Mark Dolenc a RBI triple. Chris Parmalee also scored on a Weiland wild pitch. Weiland walked two in the inning and committed a balk.
Portland would chip away at the 5-0 deficit. Nate Spears homered for the second straight night, a two run shot in the third. His team leading 10th homer, closed the New Britain lead to 5-2.
The Sea Dogs continued to dig themselves out of an early whole in the fourth when Matt Sheely's RBI triple scored Ray Chang making it 5-3. The triple was Sheely's team leading fourth triple of the season and third this week. Sheely has now hit safely in a season high four straight games.
One pitch after hitting a long foul ball into the U.S. Cellular Pavilion, Anthony Rizzo straightened it out and blasted a two run homer into the Pavilion to tie the game at five in the fifth inning.
Portice (3-6) relieved Weiland in the sixth; his lone blemish was the two run game winning homer to Ortiz. The homer was just the third of Ortiz's career. Portice takes the loss surrendering two runs on four hits in 2.2 innings of work.
New Britain reliever Billy Bullock earned his fourth save of the season shutting out the Sea Dogs for the final two innings.
The series will continue Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM at Hadlock Field with a premier pitching match-up. Red Sox top pitching prospect Casey Kelly (1-4, 5.35) will be opposed by Twins top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson (5-3, 3.56). Tickets are available and can be purchased by calling the Sea Dogs Ticket Office at 207-879-9500 or online at www.seadogs.com.
Notes: The game was delayed by 1:36 due to rain. All of the Portland runs were scored on extra base hits. Paid attendance was 6,068. The Sea Dogs wore special patriotic jerseys that were raffled off to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.