MANCHESTER — If Monday night’s no-hitter was the prettiest game of the season for New Hampshire, Wednesday night’s twinbill loss to Portland might have been the ugliest.
The Sea Dogs won, 7-6, after the Fisher Cats failed to put away the opener of a doubleheader before 4,344 fans at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
In the nightcap, Portland starter Billy Buckner hurled a five-hitter over six innings as the Sea Dogs posted a 3-2 decision. In a battle between the two worst teams in the 12-team circuit, New Hampshire falls to 17-27 while Portland improved to 17-28.
Buckner (3-3) allowed two walks and fanned five. The only run he allowed was in the sixth inning, giving up a solo homer to first baseman Mike McDade, who now has eight homers. McDade’s homer was his second in the doubleheader, cutting Portland’s lead to 3-1. Josh Fields gained his third save of the season, but not before yielding a seventh inning homer to Sean Ochinko, a solo shot for his second of the season.
Bryce Brentz gave Portland a 3-0 sixth inning lead with a two-run blast, his fifth of the year, off reliever Matt Wright. Clint Everts (2-1) suffered the loss, pitching the first three innings. Jeremy Hazelbaker reached him for a two-out RBI double in the second inning. Both teams conclude their series with a 7:05 start tonight.
In the first game, the Fishers had a chance to win in walk-off fashion. With two outs in the seventh and final inning of regulation, base runner John Tolisano was unable to score from first base on a Mike McDade fly ball to center field. McDade pulled up to second base for an easy double after the ball surprisingly dropped in front of center fielder Ronald Bermudez. Tolisano rounded third and retreated to the bag, where eventually he was stranded.
Manager Sal Fasano declined to be interviewed between games of the doubleheader. Tolisano explained:
“I got a good jump and made the turn. I was planning on going home and Sal put the brakes on me.”
Asked if he was running hard with two outs, Tolisano said, “Yeah, I was cooking. With two outs, I’m always cooking.”
Portland scored the go-ahead run on a balk by reliever Ron Uviedo (2-2), who took the loss after giving up three runs. Sea Dogs righty Brock Huntzinger (1-4) entered in the sixth, relieving Chris Hernandez, and picked up the win.
Juan Carlos Linares (2-for-5, three RBIs) homered off Deck McGuire in the third inning as the Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead. The Fisher Cats tied the game in the fifth inning on Brian Van Kirk’s two-run double. McDade homered in the first inning against Hernandez, and Fisher Cats designated hitter Brad Glenn ripped a two-run blast off Caleb Clay (fourth save) in the eighth inning.