Portland’s Stephen Scott gets a high five from Manager Chad Epperson after hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Tuesday at Hadlock Field. Scott hit a three-run homer in the ninth to give Portland a 6-4 win.

Portland Sea Dogs catcher Stephen Scott celebrated his 26th birthday Tuesday, and he let Sea Dogs fan celebrate with him in style.

Serving as Portland’s designated hitter, Scott hit his second home run of the game, this one a three-run blast to right field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving Portland a 6-4 come-from-behind win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and sending what remained of the crowd of 4,801 fans into a joyous frenzy.

“I think that the mindset for the team was just try to string out at bats. One guy couldn’t win it. There were a lot of quality at bats before me that led to that position,” said Scott, who also hit a solo shot in to lead off the fifth inning.

Portland’s Corey Rosier chases down a deep fly ball to the warning track as teammate Ceddanne Rafaela looks on.

The win was the fourth straight for the Sea Dogs (27-13), who increased their lead for first place over the Somerset Patriots in the Eastern League’s Northeast Division to 3 1/2 games. This is Portland’s third win streak of at least four games this season.

Down 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Portland’s rally started with a single by leadoff hitter Phillip Sikes. After back-to-back walks to Nick Yorke and Ceddanne Rafaela, the Fisher Cats (20-19) pulled pitcher Alejandro Melean for Troy Watson. Niko Kavadas hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to score Sikes, and Nathan Hickey reached on a throwing error that scored Yorke to cut New Hampshire’s lead to 4-3, but Rafaela was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first. A walk to Chase Meidroth set the stage for Scott.

Scott said he was looking for a pitch to drive, and with Watson’s low slider, he found it.


“(Watson) runs it up there pretty good, so I was just trying to keep him in the middle of the zone and not try to do too much, honestly,” Scott said.

Portland starting pitcher CJ Liu allowed one run on one hit, while striking out eight and walking four in 5 1/3 innings.

It was a game in which both pitching staffs struggled to find the strike zone. Four Portland pitchers walked nine Fisher Cats, while New Hampshire’s four pitchers combined to walk nine Sea Dogs. Those walks were nearly Portland’s undoing, as three of the Fisher Cats four runs were scored by batters who took a free pass.

New Hampshire scored three runs in the top of the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. Dylan Rock and Zach Britton led off the inning with walks. After reaching third on a groundout, Rock scored on a wild pitch. Britton scored on a fielder’s choice, and Damiano Palmegiani scored on Orelvis Martinez’s single, New Hampshire’s first hit since Rock led off the game with a bloop single to right field, for a 4-1 lead.

For four and a half innings, this game was a scoreless pitchers duel between Portland starter CJ Liu and New Hampshire’s Adam Kloffenstein. Both starters allowed just one run, while Liu struck out eight and walk four in 5 1/3 innings.

After Scott’s first homer gave Portland a 1-0 lead in the fifth, the Fisher Cats tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the sixth, when Rock scored on Palmegiani’s sacrifice fly to left field.

The Sea Dogs had chances to score throughout the game, but stranded 11 runners on base. Sikes had two hits, including a double, and swiped two bases. Luis Guerrero earned the win and improved to 2-0. Watson fell to 1-2 for the Fisher Cats.

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