Sea Dogs hold off Fisher Cats, 2-1
Righthander Luis Diaz allowed one run and seven hits over eight innings to lead the Portland Sea Dogs to a 3-2 Eastern League victory against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Monday night at Hadlock Field in Portland, Maine.
On 83 pitches, 56 for strikes, Diaz (2-0) walked two and fanned four, lowering his ERA to 1.29.
New Hampshire rallied for a ninth-inning run to close the gap to 3-2 after Jonathan Jones tagged Portland reliever Miguel Celestino with his first home run of the season.
Matt Newman followed with a one-out triple and represented the tying run. But Celestino bore down and recorded his sixth save of the season save after retiring both Derrick Chung and Kevin Nolan on groundouts to end the game.
New Hampshire (31-44) fell to 2-7 this season against the Sea Dogs (50-26) who own the best record in the Eastern League.
New Hampshire starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx (2-2) took the mound loss. On 44 pitches, he lasted just two innings, allowing four hits, two runs and no walks. He fanned two batters.
New Hampshire took a brief 1-0 second-inning lead with a mini two-out rally. Jones singled on a line drive to right and scored when Matt Newman drove his eighth double of the season to left field.
The lead evaporated quickly in the home second. Leadoff hitter Sean Coyle belted his eighth homer of the season to center to put Portland on the board. Consecutive one-out singles from David Chester and Keury De La Cruz set the table for Heiker Meneses, who plated Chester with a single to left.
In the third, Portland padded its lead to 3-1 right after Richard Bleier relieved Bibens-Dirkx.
Deven Marrero greeted Bleier with a solo homer to center, his fourth of the season.
Newman and Nashua native Kevin Nolan each had three hits for New Hampshire. The second game of the three-game series between the teams begins tonight at 7 p.m.