New Hampshire Fisher Cats catcher A.J. Jimenez attempts to put a tag on Christian Vazquez of the Portland Sea Dogs during thier game last night at the Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. (Bruce Preston / Union Leader)
Knuckleballer Charlie Haeger took care of the pitching and catcher Christian Vazquez powered the offense as the Portland Sea Dogs knocked off the Fisher Cats, 5-1, in front of 5,756 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Friday night.
Portland snapped New Hampshire's season-high win streak at six games and evened the four-game series at a game apiece. The teams meet again tonight at 7:05.
Haeger allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked no one over his eight innings. Jeremy Kehrt finished up for the Sea Dogs.
Vazquez had four of Portland's 13 hits with two doubles and two singles, good for two runs batted in.
Clint Robinson's two-out home run in the bottom of the ninth accounted for the only Fisher Cat run.
The Sea Dogs got back over .500 at 39-38 and New Hampshire dropped to 39-41.
Portland struck first for a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning.
Michael Almanzar led off with a single to left and went to second on a throwing error by left fielder Brian Van Kirk. After a ground out, Almanzar scored on a Vazquez single to left.
Portland starter Marcus Walden got another ground out and Heiker Meneses followed with another run-scoring single.
Haeger and the Sea Dogs made the lead stand up.
Peter Hissey helped end the fourth inning when his strong throw from right field nailed Brad Glenn who as trying to score from first on Clint Robinson's long single.
New Hampshire's Kevin Nolan and Ryan Schimpf had consecutive singles to lead off the fifth and then Heiker Meneses started a sharp shortstop to second baseman to first baseman double play. Haeger struck out Jon Talley to end the inning.
The Sea Dogs tacked on a couple more run in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI double by Vazquez and another run-scoring single by Meneses.
Almanzar doubled in Garin Cecchini, who had doubled to lead off the ninth, to make it 5-0.