PP Game Notes: Sea Dogs 5, Thunder 3

The Portland Sea Dogs salvaged one of the games in this three game series by pulling out a 5-3 win over the Trenton Thunder on a hot and humid afternoon at Waterfront Park in front of 6,333 fans.

Jarrett Gardner (1-0), fresh from Augusta of the South Atlantic League, got his first ever AA win by holding Trenton to three runs over five innings. Scott Wiggins (0-1) took the loss in relief for the Thunder, coming in behind starter Chien-ming Wang. Juan Perez got his third save of the year for the Sea Dogs by pitching a perfect final two innings. After the first inning, the Thunder managed only four base runners off the Portland pitching staff.

The Thunder jumped to an early 3-0 lead on back to back to back one out hits by Jake Weber, Dioner Navarro, and Aaron Rifkin. Weber started the rally with a bloop double down the left field line that was followed by Navarro's single to center that scored Weber. Rifkin followed with a two run homer to left, his ninth of the year, to give Trenton a 3-0 lead.

Portland got on the board in the fifth when the wheels fell off for Wang. Portland wound up only scoring one run but it could have much worse had Kevin Reese not made a nice catch in centerfield to end the inning. After retiring the first batter of the inning on a topper back to the mound, the next three batters reached base on two walks and a single to center to load the bases. With Eric Johnson at the plate, Wang uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Bailey to score from third and cut the Thunder lead to 3-1.

Portland would put four on the board to take a 5-3 lead in the sixth. Wang gave up a lead off single to Brian Roneberg before Sean McGowan flied out to right. Mike O'Keefe followed McGowan with a double to the left field corner that put runners on second and third. Wang was lifted with 96 pitches after Jeff Bailey struck out. Scott Wiggins came in and failed to retire a batter. Joe Killburg was hit by a pitch to load the bases and the next batter, Kenny Perez, singled to left to score Roneberg and O'Keefe and tie the game at 3. With Eric Johnson at the plate, Dioner Navarro allowed his 11th passed ball of the season. That passed ball allowed Killburg to score from third and take a 4-3 lead. Johnson would eventually single to right scoring Perez and giving the Sea Dogs a 5-3 lead.

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