Thunder Win Nailbiter, Take Series in Portland

By Spenser Smith / Trenton Thunder | August 25, 2019 4:40 PM

PORTLAND, Maine - The Thunder rallied to a four-run fourth inning and withstood late scares by the Portland offense in a 5-4 win over the Portland Sea Dogs on Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

With the win, the Thunder (34-31, 72-59) took the series, three games to one, and have now won five of their last six series.

Hoy Jun Park led off the fourth inning with a double off Sea Dogs (29-34, 56-74) starter Denyi Reyes (7-12) and took third on a Chris Gittens single. Kellin Deglan followed with an RBI-single, and after two flyouts, Rashad Crawford added another RBI-single. A walk loaded the bases, and after Matthew Gorst entered in relief, Ben Ruta lined an RBI-infield single off Gorst's leg before Kyle Holder was hit by a pitch, stretching the Thunder lead to 4-0.

Rony Garcia (4-11) earned the win for the Thunder, tossing five scoreless innings and allowing just one hit while matching his career-high with nine strikeouts.

The Sea Dogs fought back against Thunder right-hander Will Carter in the sixth inning. Marcus Wilson and Tommy Joseph opened the frame with back-to-back singles, and a Joy Curletta walk loaded the bases. Carter then hit Brett Netzer in the foot with a pitch to force home the first Portland run, and a wild pitch brought home a second tally. Jeremy Rivera drew a walk to reload the bases, and Greg Weissert took over for Carter. Weissert walked Austin Rei to bring the Sea Dogs within one run, 4-3, but Weissert rebounded to pick up a sacrifice bunt attempt by Nick Lovullo, throwing home for the force out before striking out Jarren Duran to keep the lead intact.

In the seventh, the Thunder added an insurance run as Ben Ruta doubled to deep center, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a wild pitch by Adam Lau.

Brooks Kriske turned in a scoreless eighth inning for the Thunder and Daniel Alvarez pitched the ninth, allowing a one-out solo homer to Marcus Wilson before retiring the next two batters to record his 19th save.

Holder's hit-by-pitch extended his on-base streak to 14 games, three shy of his season-high, while Crawford's fourth-inning RBI gave him eight RBI in his last 10 games.

Your Thunder will travel to Manchester, New Hampshire to open a four-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Monday at 6:35 p.m. RHP Miguel Yajure (Double-A debut) will start for the Thunder, and RHP Yennsy Diaz (10-8, 3.93) will go for New Hampshire. Pregame coverage begins at 6:20 p.m. on 1040 AM WCHR or online at

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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