PORTLAND, Maine - After a disciplined approach helped the Thunder to a 4-2 lead in the eighth inning, the bullpen escaped a bases-loaded jam in the bottom half en route to a 4-2 over the Portland Sea Dogs on Friday night at Hadlock Field.
With the score tied, 2-2, Sea Dogs (28-33, 55-73) reliever Robinson Leyer (0-1) opened the top of the eighth by walking three straight Thunder batters. Right-hander Jordan Weems was summoned from the Portland bullpen and, after striking out Isiah Gilliam, allowed a go-ahead RBI-single to Brandon Wagner. Max Burt then struck out before a bases-loaded walk by Francisco Arcia forced home an additional run.
The Sea Dogs threatened in the bottom half against Trevor Lane (4-2), loading the bases on a walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a fielder's choice grounder. With one out, Braden Bristo replaced Lane. The right-hander went to a full count on Nick Lovullo, who fouled off four two-strike pitches before striking out swinging. Bristo then fanned Jarred Duran on three pitches to escape the jam.
Bristo completed a perfect ninth inning to record his first Double-A save and secure a third straight victory for the Thunder (33-30, 71-58).
The Thunder win came despite a dominant start by Portland's Matt Kent, who struck out a career-high 11 over six innings.
Both Portland runs came in the first inning off Thunder starter Albert Abreu. Jarren Duran led off with a walk, and Jeremy Rivera was ruled safe on an infield single despite leaving the basepath to avoid a tag from Abreu along the first base line. Tommy Joseph and Joey Curletta followed with back-to-back RBI-singles before a double-play grounder and a groundout ended the inning.
Rashad Crawford brought the Thunder within one run on a third-inning RBI-single, and a Zack Zehner RBI-single tied the score in the fifth.
James Reeves provided three innings of scoreless relief behind Abreu. Thunder pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts in the game while Portland hurlers combined for 17, one shy of the season-high against the Thunder offense.
Your Thunder continue their road trip on Saturday at 6 p.m. against the Sea Dogs. RHP Shawn Semple (0-2, 6.66) will start for the Thunder, and RHP Konner Wade (4-4, 3.21) will go for Portland. Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 920 AM The Jersey or online at TrentonThunder.com/Broadcast.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.