PORTLAND, MAINE – A rainy Wednesday left some lingering grey clouds for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats as they followed their weather-induced day off with a pair of losses to the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday night.
New Hampshire got off to a quick start in the first game, batting around the lineup in a first inning that saw five Fisher Cat runs before all was said and done. Sea Dogs starting pitcher Frank German wouldn’t escape that first inning barrage, but the hosts managed to prevent any further damage as they waited for their bats to warm up.
Portland finally found their offense with a three-run rally in the fourth and a six-run rally in the fifth, with throwing errors by New Hampshire third baseman Samad Taylor in both innings.
Brock Lundquist would come across the plate in the sixth for New Hampshire on another third baseman-induced error, this one from Portland’s Tanner Nishioka, but New Hampshire would leave two men stranded in the seventh and final inning, cementing their 9-6 loss.
Curtis Taylor (0-1) was on the hook for New Hampshire, lasting just two outs during the Sea Dogs’ fifth-inning offensive cascade. Emmanuel DeJesus (1-0) was the winning pitcher for Portland, recording seven outs over the fourth, fifth and sixth, four of which came on strikeouts.
In Game Two, it was Portland that captured the game’s first run, a fielding error by shortstop Vinny Capra that let Jack Lopez come across the plate in the first.
New Hampshire tied it up in the second as Portland starter and former Blue Jays prospect Josh Winckowski walked Kevin Vicuña with the bases loaded, bringing in Jordan Groshans.
Portland would take back the lead in the third thanks to a pair of wild pitches from Fisher Cats starter Elvis Luciano that each led to runs. The Fisher Cats were beneficiaries of a wild pitch in the fourth, evening things up as Samad Taylor scampered home following an errant throw from Portland hurler Matt Kent, following a Vicuña RBI single earlier in the inning.
Johan Mieses’ home run over the Maine Monster in left in the sixth inning was the contest’s deciding factor, sealing Portland’s 4-3 win in the second contest.
Kent (1-0) was the winning, going 3 2/3 innings and allowing just three hits while striking out five. Jon Harris (0-1) was the losing pitcher of record, despite the fact that Mieses’ blast was the only hit he allowed during his two innings of relief.
Both teams will look to improve on the combined ten errors over Thursday’s 13 combined innings of play as New Hampshire sends Kyle Johnston to the mound against Thaddeus Ward for a 6 p.m. contest on Friday.