PORTLAND —There will be no panic in Portland.

The Portland Sea Dogs did in one night what their parent club hasn’t been able to do in six, winning Thursday night’s Eastern League season-opener, 4-3, over the Reading Phillies before 5,085 fans at Hadlock Field.

Chih-Hsien Chang went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored and Alex Hassan drove in two runs, including the winning run on a sacrifice fly to make new manager Kevin Boles a winner in his Portland debut.

“I thought it was a very clean game on both sides,” Boles said. “Our offense early on made some adjustments at the plate, got some pitches to hit and swung the bats pretty well. I thought we played very good on defense and the pitchers attacked the zone.”

The Sea Dogs got the timely hits early, then some timely defense and relief pitching when the offense missed some scoring opportunities late.

Portland scored single runs on two hits in each of the second, third and fourth innings. Will Middlebrooks, Hassan, and Tim Federowicz hit RBI singles for the Sea Dogs.

Reading matched them with a two-run single by Freddy Galvis in the third and a solo home run blasted to left-center by Tuffy Gosewisch in the fifth.

“He ran into one,” Wilson said. “I beat him on fastballs all night long, threw another one and he just ran into it.”

Wilson (5 IP, six hits, three earned runs, three Ks, 0 BB) left with the lead, though, because Reading right fielder Derrick Mitchell made an ill-advised dive in Che-Hsuan Lin’s liner, allowing Portland’s leadoff hitter to stretch what should have been a single into a triple. Alex Hassan plated Lin with a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 Portland lead.

“I felt really good,” said Wilson, the sixth-ranked pitching prospect in Boston’s farm system. “I was able to use my fastball effectively tonight, pounded the zone early and often and it opened up some windows later in the game and got them swinging. The key tonight was my fastball and pushing it through the zone.”

The Sea Dogs squandered a leadoff double by Chiang in the sixth and it looked like it might prove costly in the seventh. Reading put runners at second and third with no one out against Seth Garrison in his second inning of relief, but Garrison caught a break when a wild pitch ricocheted off the brick backstop and directly to catcher Ryan Lavarnway behind the plate.

Lavarnway turned and fired to third and runner Michael Spidale couldn’t escape from the subsequent brief rundown. Garrison then struck out Mitchell and Gosewisch to escape the jam.

“I played it a little bit last year, so I know that wall can be tricky, and I know opposing teams don’t know how that wall plays, especially in the first series,” Lavarnway said. “It’s a good heads-up play by Middlebrooks to cover the bag. We ran that rundown well. We worked on that in spring training. It’s pretty much just playing ball the way we know how.”

Portland left two men on in each of the final three innings, but Garrison and Blake Maxwell made the lead stand up with two innings apiece of scoreless relief.

“We had a little bit of luck with that ball caroming off the brick,” Boles said. “But we were able to execute the rundown between third and home. Then Maxwell did a great job, attacked the zone and was very efficient.”

Portland and Reading continue their four-game series Friday at 6 p.m.


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