NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) – Jared Sandberg had three hits and drove in two runs as the Portland Sea Dogs powered past the New Britain Rock Cats 8-4 in the first game of an Eastern League doubleheader Tuesday.

Portland completed the sweep with an 8-6 win in the second game as Hanley Ramirez drove in three runs with a single and a double.

The Sea Dogs (62-53) hold a four-game lead over second-place Trenton in the Northern Division. They have won seven of their last eight against New Britain.

In the opener Tuesday, Sandberg had a two-run double in the second inning after an error by shortstop J.R. Taylor ignited a three-run Portland uprising.

Sandberg doubled and scored on consecutive wild pitches in the sixth inning. His first-inning single after Errol Simonitsch (4-4) got the first two outs resulted in a run when Ramirez walked with the bases loaded. Sheldon Fulse hit his second homer of the year for the Sea Dogs.

Alex Romero hit his 13th homer for New Britain. Teammate Denard Span went 3-for-5 including a three-run triple with two outs in the second inning.

Chris Smith (4-3) allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out two.

In the nightcap, Ramirez lashed a two-run single in the first inning off John Thomas (5-4). His RBI double in the third was a key blow in the two-run rally. Jeremy West had a two-run homer, his ninth of the year, in the fourth inning to give the Sea Dogs a 6-2 lead.

Conor Brooks (2-2) earned the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Charlie Zink. With the tying runs on base and two out in the seventh, Jim Mann came on to record his seventh save.

Matt Moses went 2-for-3 with his second homer of the season, a single and a walk for the Rock Cats (53-64), who have lost five straight.

Romero, with hits in his final at-bat in both games, extended his hitting streak to a team-best 15 games. He has reached base safely in 30 straight games, two short of the team record set by Corey Koskie in 1997.

AP-ES-08-09-05 1901EDT


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