MANCHESTER — The Portland Sea Dogs dealt the New Hampshire Fisher Cats' playoff hopes another blow with a 9-2 win in front of 4,876 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium Tuesday night.
The win pulled the Sea Dogs into a tie with New Hampshire at 66-69 for third place in the Eastern League's Eastern Division, four games behind second-place Trenton (70-65) and the final playoff spot. The teams meet again tonight at 6:35.
New Hampshire has six games remaining. Portland, which dealt New Hampshire a 10-5 loss on Monday night, has seven, with five of them against Trenton.
Big Portland lefty Henry Owens (6-foot-6) threw 6 2/3 innings of shutout baseball, striking out six and allowing just two hits and one walk. Owens threw 97 pitches and picked up the win to improve to 3-0, dropping his ERA to 1.09.
New Hampshire starter Marcus Stroman took the loss to fall to 8-5, pitching just three innings and allowing five runs.
Portland took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Catcher Matt Spring led off with a single and Deven Marrero walked. Stroman got two outs, but Shannon Wilkerson's slow roller to second was fielded by Amadeo Zazueta and thrown away, allowing both runs to score.
The Sea Dogs added three more runs in the third to push the lead to 5-0. J.C Linares singled to open the frame and Michael Almanzar followed with a double. Spring doubled both runners home and then scored on a two-out single from Derrik Gibson.
A walk to Marrero, error and groundout from Gibson produced another run in the Portland half of the fifth to make it 6-0 Sea Dogs. Portland made it 7-0 with a run off relief pitcher Dayton Marze in the eighth inning when Wilkerson doubled and scored on a Linares single up the middle.
The Fisher Cats managed two runs in the bottom of the eighth off relief pitcher Pete Ruiz. Jack Murphy and Zazueta picked up one-out singles and Andy Burns drove a two-out RBI single into right field. Kevin Nolan then singled to center to score Zazueta to make it 7-2. Ruiz got Adam Loewen to strike out to end the inning.
Portland wasn't done, scoring another two runs in the top of the ninth. Ryan Tepera came on to work the inning for the Fisher Cats and quickly got two outs, but a Ryan Dent single, Gibson double and two-run Wilkerson triple down the right field line pushed the lead to 9-2.
Rafael Perez worked a one-two-three ninth inning for Portland to close the game out.