Vinny Capra, right, is greeted by Fisher Cats teammate Chris Bec after the first of his two home runs Sunday in a 9-2 win over the Portland Sea Dogs at Hadlock Field. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The new minor league schedule makes every Monday a day off.

That’s a good thing right now for the Portland Sea Dogs.

The Sea Dogs can use a break after losing their fourth straight game Sunday afternoon, 9-2 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats before 6,032 fans – the largest crowd this year at Hadlock Field.

New Hampshire, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, apparently took inspiration from the parent club. While Toronto was hitting eight home runs Sunday in an 18-4 rout against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, the Fisher Cats swatted three homers.

Grant Williams of the Sea Dogs catches the throw as Samad Taylor slides safely into second with a stolen base. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

The Sea Dogs had a few bright spots: Ronaldo Hernandez hit a solo home run, his fifth of the season; Joey Meneses went 4 for 4, upping his average to .299; and reliever Seth Blair continuing his blazing June by striking out the three batters he faced.

But a whole lot went wrong, including squandering a bases-loaded, nobody-out threat and having a runner thrown out on a wild pitch – the latter play eventually resulting in Manager Corey Wimberly being ejected.

Former University of Maine catcher Chris Bec proved to be a pain for Portland. Bec, a native of Miami who was drafted by the Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2018 draft, drew three walks, scored two runs and added an RBI single.

The Sea Dogs (20-16) dropped to 2 1/2 games behind first-place Somerset in the Northeast Division, and 5 1/2 games ahead of third-place New Hampshire (14-21).

The Sea Dogs were only outhit 12-10 – and both teams drew six walks and made zero errors. But New Hampshire capitalized on its chances, while the Dogs didn’t.

“We had a lot of traffic on the bases, but we didn’t get the big hit,” Wimberly said.

Little went right for Portland.

Sea Dogs starter AJ Politi delivers a pitch. Politi allowed two runs in four innings before the Fisher Cats broke it open against Portland’s bullpen. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer Buy this Photo

Sea Dogs starter Andrew Politi (1-5) walked Bec with two outs in the second inning, and Vinny Capra followed with his first of two home runs. Politi threw 82 pitches and left after four innings.

Portland loaded the bases with two outs in the second inning, but Grant Williams grounded out to pitcher Maximo Castillo (3-1).

The Sea Dogs had a runner on in the fourth, but Ryan Fitzgerald tried to steal second while Castillo was still set. Castillo easily threw him out. Hernandez followed with his blast to center (101 mph off the bat, an estimated 422 feet).

New Hampshire had runners on first and third in the fifth with one out. Otto Lopez tried to steal second and ran back to first when Fitzgerald, the shortstop, caught the ball. Fitzgerald then threw to third and the runner there was called safe on a close play, which brought out Wimberly to argue, unsuccessfully.

A shallow fly ball – which right fielder Jeisson Rosario did not initially charge – fell in for an RBI single. A sacrifice fly followed, and Portland trailed 4-1.

Rio Gomez relieved in the sixth and did not retire a batter, giving up a single, a walk and back-to-back home runs by Capra and Samad Taylor.

Portland started the bottom of the sixth with two singles, but followed with a double play and a groundout.

Reliever Durbin Feltman struck out the first two batters in the seventh on seven pitches (all strikes), using his slider and 94 mph fastball. But then he allowed a double and Bec’s bloop RBI single on a seven-pitch at-bat for a 9-1 lead.

Rosario and Roldani Baldwin drew two-out walks in the seventh. Both runners tried to advance on a wild pitch, but the ball bounced right back to Bec, who threw out Baldwin at second. Wimberly ran out and vigorously expressed his displeasure and was tossed.

“I just felt throughout this series, there have been a lot of game-changing calls,” Wimberly said.

Portland loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth. After Hernandez struck out, Tate Matheny hit a shallow fly that looked like it would drop. But second baseman Lopez made a diving catch and threw to second for a double play.

It was all part of the Sea Dogs’ recent misfortune.

“This too shall pass,” Wimberly said.

NOTES: Blair came to Portland from Triple-A on May 27. He has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless innings in June, allowing one hit and striking out eight. … The Sea Dogs head to Binghamton, New York, for a six-game series this week. In another sign of relaxed social distancing rules, Sea Dogs radio announcer Emma Tiedemann will go on the road for the first time. … Portland will be back home June 22 for its first series with the Somerset Patriots, the new affiliate of the New York Yankees. The Yankees left Trenton for Somerset, which was an independent club. … While the Boston Red Sox and their Double-A team were struggling, Triple-A Worcester enjoyed a 13-7 win at Syracuse. Johan Mieses, who hit 11 home runs for Portland before getting promoted, hit his third for Worcester. His 14 homers are second among all minor leaguers. Former Sea Dogs outfielder Jarren Duran hit his third home run in four days, and 10th overall.


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