Sea Dogs catcher Oscar Rangel sets to throw to first after a bunt by Jackson Cluff of Harrisburg in the top of the ninth inning Thursday at Hadlock Field with pitcher Victor Santos watching. Cluff was safe at first and eventually scored the game’s only run, giving the Senators a 1-0 win and Portland its first loss in 16 games. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

The Streak is over.

A franchise-record 15-game winning streak came to an end for the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday night when they lost 1-0 to the Harrisburg Senators.

A crowd of 4,250 at Hadlock Field saw the Senators prevail after a scoreless pitching duel between Harrisburg’s Luis Reyes and Portland’s Frank German. Neither figured in the decision, which came down to a ninth inning filled with oddities, but each proved dominant.

Reyes held the Dogs to four hits over seven innings and escaped a jam in the fourth with help from a friendly carom off the bricks below section 106 behind home plate. Instead of scoring from third on a wild pitch, Devlin Granberg was caught in a rundown that short-circuited a promising situation (second and third, none out).

Sea Dogs starter Frank German throws a pitch against the Harrisburg Senators Thursday at Hadlock Field. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

German also allowed just four hits in his five-inning stint. He struck out two, didn’t walk a batter and reach a three-ball count only once.

An eventful ninth opened with a perfect bunt single by Harrisburg’s Jackson Cluff. Nick Banks failed in his attempt to sacrifice Cluff to second, but wound up lining a two-strike pitch off the back right thigh of Sea Dogs reliever Victor Santos. The pitcher scrambled after the ball, looked at second, hesitated, then tried for the force play.

His throw sailed into center field, putting runners at the corners with none out. Zack Kelly came on and immediately got a strikeout, then sent a 2-2 pitch up and in to Allan Berrios, who spun out of the way.

Plate umpire Josh Gilreath ruled the pitch had hit Berrios, much to the dismay of Kelly and Sea Dogs catcher Oscar Rangel. After conferring with the other two members of his umpiring crew, Gilreath stood by his call.

With the bases full, Cole Freeman lined a single (exit velocity 94 mph) off the glove of Ryan Fitzgerald, playing in at third to guard against another bunt, and into left field to drive in the game’s only run.

“That’s just one of those things,” said Fitzgerald, who normally plays shortstop. “My glove’s an inch higher, we get it. That’s the way the ball went today.”

A double play limited the damage to a single run, and Pedro Castellanos opened the home ninth with a walk. Granberg followed with a line drive … caught at first base, easily doubling up Castellanos (who had two of Portland’s four hits).

“That’s just baseball,” Fitzgerald said, who came up after Granberg. “If that gets down the line, we’ve got second and third with nobody out and I like our odds there. Against a righty pitcher, I think I at least get a ball in the air and we tie it up, or get a base hit or – who knows,  a home run – and we walk it off.”

Jackson Cluff of the Harrisburg Senators slides safely as he steal second base as his helmet flies off after a collision with Portland’s Grant Williams.July 22, 2021. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

Pearson McMahan (4-2) wrapped up the victory by inducing a pop-up from Fitzgerald, who had four hits in Wednesday night’s 11-6 victory and was the last player on the field Thursday, signing autographs and posing for photos with fans alongside the home dugout.

“We gave ourselves a shot there at the end,” Fitzgerald said. “We had the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate. That’s really all you can ask for in a game like that.”

NOTES: Rehabbing Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale continues to work out with the Sea Dogs and is scheduled to make a second start at Hadlock on Sunday afternoon. “As long as everything goes right,” said manager Corey Wimberly. … The Eastern League record for consecutive wins is 17, set by Scranton in 1943. The longest Red Sox streak is 15, set early in 1946. The major league mark is 26 (New York Giants, 1916) and minor league mark is 29 (Salt Lake City Trappers, 1987).


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