- RF Daniel Nava and DH Jon Still clubbed 3-run homers in Portland's (59-61) 9-4 win over the Reading Phillies (65-56) in the series opener on Tuesday night from Hadlock Field. The victory for the Sea Dogs and a suspended game by the Rock Cats; puts Portland one game behind the New Britain Rock Cats for the second playoff spot in the Northern Division.
Portland's top four hitters (Nava, LF Ryan Kalish, 3B Jorge Jimenez and Still) went a combined 9-for-16 (.563) with 2 HR and 9 RBI.
Reading 1B Brian Stavisky provided instant offense for the visitors, blasting a 3-run homer into the right-field bullpen to give the Phillies a 3-0 first inning lead. RHP Blake Maxwell (5-7) settled down after yielding the homer, working five strong innings on six hits, three runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
Still put the Sea Dogs right back in the game in the bottom of the first inning, clubbing a 3-run shot to left-center field off losing pitcher RHP Vance Worley (8-9). Portland never lost the lead, receiving a 2-run single by Jimenez in the second inning and a run-scoring double by Kalish in the fourth, extending the advantage to 6-3.
Worley tossed five innings, allowing eight hits, six runs, two walks and six strikeouts. Phillies RHP Chance Chapman tossed two scoreless frames but Nava blasted a 3-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning off RHP Scott Mathieson. C Luis Exposito started the inning by reaching on a shortstop's error and 2B Iggy Suarez drew a two-out walk.
Portland RHP Chris Province earned his 8th hold with two scoreless innings on two walks and three strikeouts. LHP Andrew Dobies worked a scoreless eighth to pick up his 5th hold of the season. In the top of the 9th inning, Reading loaded the bases with nobody out against RHP Bryce Cox on two walks and a single. RF Dominic Brown stung a grounder back to the mound but Cox's attempted throw to the plate sailed to the backstop, allowing pinch-hitter Mike Spidale to score. The Texas native settled down to retire the final three batters, fanning DH Steve Susdorf to end the game.
The Sea Dogs and Reading Phillies play game two of their series on Wednesday night beginning at 6:00 PM from Hadlock Field. Catch all the action on the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network beginning at 5:30 PM with the Pre-Game Show built by CorrectDeck.
Notes...Still and Stavisky hit homers from the clean-up position...Portland has won 6 straight at Hadlock Field for the first time since August 12-17, 2008 when they swept back-to-back 3-game series against Altoona and Harrisburg...Nava has reached base safely in all 11 starts with Portland...Kalish is 6-for-8, HR, 4 RBI, 3B, 2B in his last two starts.