(Portland) Third straight win for the Sea Dogs as they defeated New Hampshire, 8-4, on a Thursday morning/afternoon Eastern League game.
The treat for the 4,622 attending was that two Boston Red Sox players (Franklin Morales and David Ross) were rehabbing with the Sea Dogs.
Portland (27-18) is currently at the top of the Eastern League East with a two-game lead over the Binghamton Mets. The Sea Dogs have gone to Binghamton (NY) for a weekend series.
The announcement that Morales and Ross would be playing came late. I was geared to take a look at Portland pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. Anthony has pitched well enough in 2013 (5-1/1.67 ERA/0.91 WHIP) to deserve a promotion to Pawtucket before too long.
I anticipated a small turnout at Hadlock Field. An 11AM start on a Thursday with overcast conditions drove that point of view. I realized the error of my thinking when I saw 30 (?) school buses lined up outside the stadium.
The students were entertained and talked to for about an hour before the game.
As part of the education segment, a lady involved with science launched a rocket. Something about that activity always gets me a bit nervous when I think of something like that being tried by one of these school kids when they get home.
Catcher Dave Ross told the Press Herald that he had to borrow a glove from Jason Varitek for the game. There were two other former Red Sox catchers on the scene – Rich Gedman (Portland hitting coach) and Gary Allenson (New Hampshire manager).
Ross (36-years-old) has been on the DL since May 11th after he took a couple of pitches off his mask against Toronto and suffered a concussion.
Ross headed back to Boston after five innings were over expecting to be checked out the Boston team physicians.
Franklin Morales got the win for Portland. He went five innings and gave up six hits and one run.
Franklin (27-years-old) has been on the DL since opening day with a back strain. This was his fifth rehab start. I don’t know if he’ll have anymore or not.
I did not see Matt Barnes, the Red Sox’s first round pick in 2011.
Ryan Schimpf had a big game for the Fisher Cats going 4-for-5.
The top player at Portland, in my opinion, is Xander Bogaerts. Young (20) and at the top of his game. Good fielder (shortstop) and an improving bat. Xander had a triple in today’s game.
This was my second time seeing New Hampshire. Their top player (again, in my opinion) is Kevin Pillar. This 24-year-old outfielder plays quality defense and is currently 7th in the Eastern League in batting at .316.
I am again grateful to Chris Cameron (media relations director) for setting up my visit to Hadlock Field today. Chris also puts in time with the Sea Dogs grounds crew.
The dugout view that I was allowed to have is the best picture-taking spot at Hadlock. It also can be a bit dangerous. During this visit I had a one-hop grounder come toward me, bounce over my head, carom off the brick behind me, and back onto the field.
I hope to get back to Hadlock in July. I notice that there is one of those “getaway” games on July 8th.
(All of the pictures both above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)