Portland Sea Dogs second baseman Deiner Lopez watches his throw travel to first baseman Michael Chavis to complete fifth inning double play against the Altoona Curve in Eastern League action at Hadlock Field in Portland on Sunday. Altoona baserunner Tyler Gaffney — a former New England Patriot — slides late into second. (Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald)
PORTLAND — When Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez makes his rehab appearance Monday night with the Portland Sea Dogs, his main objectives will be to stay healthy and get his arm ready for Boston’s stretch drive.
If Rodriguez has command of his pitches, that will be a bonus.
On Sunday, Sea Dogs pitchers had command issues as the Altoona Curve topped Portland 8-2 before a sellout crowd of 7,368 at Hadlock Field.
Sea Dogs starter Kyle Hart (7-9) allowed only four hits, but also gave up three walks over five innings.
Hart had given up only one hit through 4 2/3 innings, but it was a three-run homer by Arden Pabst. His blue-ribbon blast over the left-field wall followed two walks in the second.
Errors and a passed ball accounted for the other two runs against Hart, who left after five innings. He struck out four and threw 104 pitches (64 strikes).
“Kind of in between,” Hart said of his start, who said he regretted not attacking the hitters more.
“The home run did not upset me — he put a good swing on it — as much as the walk to (Logan) Hill. I should have been more aggressive.”
Pabst clocked a 90-mph fastball on a 2-0 pitch after a walk to Hill put two men on base.
Hart and the Portland rotation have been on a roll. He had not allowed more than two earned runs in a game since July 16. And since July, Sea Dogs starters had an ERA of 2.26.
Portland’s runs came in the fourth on consecutive hits by Michael Chavis (single to center), Bobby Dalbec (single to left) and Luke Tendler (two-run double to right).
Those were the only hits off Altoona starter Dario Agrazal (5-3), who struck out six over six innings.
Trey Ball relieved Hart in the sixth. Over two innings, he gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. Harrison Cooney relieved in the eighth and threw two hitless innings.
NOTES: In a bizarre out in the third inning, Altoona third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes lined an apparent single into left. But Hayes, running out of the batter’s box, stepped on his bat and fell onto his shoulder. As Hayes rolled around in pain, he was thrown out at first. Hayes, the Pirates’ No. 2 prospect and first-round draft pick in 2015, left the game. Altoona Manager Michael Ryan said it was too early to determine the extent of Hayes’ injury. … In Triple-A Pawtucket, former Sea Dogs starter Mike Shawaryn made his first professional appearance out of the bullpen. He pitched 3 1/3 hitless innings, walking two and striking out five. … Altoona (67-55) heads to Binghamton, while the Sea Dogs (53-70) stay in Portland for a two-game series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Monday’s game is at 7 p.m. — with an appearance from Boston Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller — and Tuesday’s game begins at 6 p.m. because of postgame fireworks.
Portland Sea Dogs pitcher Trey Ball fields a bunt in foul territory as the batter, Altoona’s Bryan Reynolds runs down the first base line during Eastern League action at Hadlock Field in Portland on Sunday. Sea Dogs catcher Austin Rei pursues the ball as well, and first baseman Michael Chavis waits at first. Portland lost the game to Altoona 8-2. (Carl D. Walsh/Portland Press Herald)