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Morales earns win against Fishers

Franklin Morales made Hadlock Field's first-ever morning game a winning one.

Making his second rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs, Morales allowed one unearned run and six hits over five innings and was the winning pitcher in an 8-4 Eastern League triumph over New Hampshire on Thursday.

Morales allowed two walks and fanned three. The lefthander threw 77 pitches, 52 for strikes and the only run he allowed was unearned. Boston placed him on the disabled list at the end of spring training because of a left pectoral strain.

Joining Morales in his rehab start was catcher David Ross (concussion), who batted third in the lineup. He produced a run with a double and struck out twice.

The Sea Dogs (27-18) had some trouble containing New Hampshire's Ryan Schimpf, who collected four hits. But it wasn't enough to prevent Portland from winning the last three games of the four-game series against the Fisher Cats (23-25).

Schimpf scored a first-inning run off Morales, reaching on a check-swing single before taking second on an error. Clint Robinson eventually got him home on a groundout.

Portland scored three unearned runs off losing pitcher Matt Wright (1-1). Ross tied the game with a double, and two runs scored on a dropped fly ball by left fielder Brian Van Kirk.

Portland scored three more in the second inning off Wright. Shannon Wilkerson delivered a sacrifice fly, Xander Bogaerts tripled home Matty Johnson and Tony Thomas provided a run-scoring single.

Derrik Gibson (3-for-3, RBI, two doubles) knocked in Portland's next two runs, extending the lead to 8-1. Gibson nailed a run-scoring double in the third and an RBI single off Randy Boone in the fifth.

New Hampshire scored twice off Jeremy Kehrt in the sixth. Kevin Ahrens reached on Bogaerts' error, allowing Brad Glenn to score. Adam Loewen singled to center, scoring Van Kirk. In the seventh, the Fisher Cats scored the game's final run on a double-play ball. Brock Huntzinger relieved Kehrt in the eight and recorded the final four outs for his 10th save of the season.

New Hampshire returns home for a four-game holiday weekend series against New Britain beginning today at 7 p.m., weather permitting. A fireworks show will follow tonight's game and fans can buy one premium or box seat ticket and get one ticket free.

New Hampshire has set up its pitching rotation for the weekend series.

Lefty Sean Nolin (2-0, 1.17) gets the start tonight, righty Marcus Stroman (1-0, 0.00) gets the nod Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and righthander Marcus Walden (3-4, 2.96) toes the rubber on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. On Monday in the series finale at 1:35 p.m., Deck McGuire (2-4, 4.78) takes the hill for the Fisher Cats.

The starters for New Britain are B.J. Hermsen (1-4, 4.70) tonight, Pat Dean (1-5, 6.25) Saturday, Trevor May (3-2, 3.91) Sunday and Alex Meyer (2-2, 3.62) on Monday.


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