PORTLAND — The frustration continued for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday.

Not only did Portland lose its fourth straight game, it dropped its sixth straight game to Richmond in a 4-1 loss in front of 6,919 at Hadlock Field.

Portland entered the day three games out of the second playoff spot in the Eastern Division, but the Sea Dogs squandered a solid start by Terry Doyle and left 10 runners on base.

“I think we’re a better offensive club than we’re showing right now,” said Portland manager Kevin Boles. “We collecting hits, but we’re just not executing with runners in scoring position. The guys will keep working, and we’ll just keep battling.”

Doyle did his part, going seven innings and allowing four runs. He scattered eight hits and walked just one while striking out four.

“I really had a fastball command,” said Doyle, who drops to 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA. “That’s what did it for me. I didn’t really throw very many good sliders or curveballs. It was really just getting ahead with the fastball and locating it.”


Doyle gave up a run in the third but kept the Sea Dogs within reach for much of the game. It was a three-run homer in the seventh by Joe Panik that opened the lead.

“Doyle pitched well,” Boles said. “He attacked the zone. He had a real good mix. He utilized the defense. It’s unfortunate, we gave them some extra outs that inning. Obviously the three-run homer was unfortunate, but I thought he competed well. He gave us a real good start.”

Portland had opportunity to rally, putting runners on over the final seven innings. The Sea Dogs lone run came on a fielder’s choice in the seventh.

“It looks like we’re trying to do too much with runners in scoring position,” Boles said. “We just need to have a little bit better focus at the plate. We need to manage our strike zone a little better. I thought we expanded the strike zone, and we got runners on. We just couldn’t execute with runners in scoring position.”

The center fielders provided the highlights in the early innings. Portland’s Shannon Wilkerson made a nice leaping catch on Javier Herrera in the first. Then Ryan Lollis took away extra bases on a Travis Shaw drive to center with a leaping catch at the wall. Portland’s Matty Johnson also made a nice diving catch of a Juan Ciriaco hit to right.

Richmond got the first hit of the game in the third. After Ciriaco’s bid was snagged by Johnson, Tyler LaTorre singled. After the second out of the inning, Lollis and Panik followed with back-to-back singles up the middle. Panik’s hit plated LaTorre for the 1-0 lead.


Portland got its first hit in the third but a strike out of Ryan Dent and an interference call on a steal attempt by J.C. Linares nixed that opportunity. Garin Cecchini and Christian Vazquez each walked in the fourth with two outs, but Shaw’s fly to right was caught to end the inning.

The Sea Dogs got singles from Matt Spring and Dent in the fifth with only one out but failed to make anything happen. Portland had two runners on in the sixth. After Wilkerson walked and was caught stealing, Cecchini walked and Vazquez singled. Shaw followed with a weak grounder to short that led to an inning-ending double play.

Richmond opened the lead in the seventh when LaTorre singled and Skyler Stromsmoe reached when his sacrifice bunt was thrown away. After a Lollis sacrifice, Panik hit his three-run homer for the 4-0 lead.

“It was supposed to be a fastball in, but I think it was a little out over the middle,” Doyle said. “In hindsight, I probably should have gone with something else.”

Portland got one back in the bottom of the inning but could have had more. Spring reached on an error and Linares followed with a double. A Dent groundout scored Spring, but Richmond starter Craig Westcott escaped the threat striking out Meneses and Johnson.

Westcott allowed just five hits in the win and struck out four. Vazquez and Linares each had two hits for the Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs loaded the bases in the eight but failed to score. Against reliever Drew Bolin, Cecchini walked and Vazquez singled with one out. After reliever Phil McCormick came in and struck out Shaw, Spring walked to fill the bases. Linares ended the inning with a grounder to third.

“The name of the game is keeping it close, especially when the team is struggling to score runs,” Doyle said. “Up until the seventh, I was doing my job. Then the seventh inning got away from me.”


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