PORTLAND — Crisp. That may be the best word to describe the Portland Sea Dogs’ 2-0 win over the Reading Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Hadlock Field.

Pitchers threw strikes and the game took only 2 hours, 15 minutes — normally the time needed for the Red Sox and Yankees to play four innings.

And the 59 degrees and clear skies had Hadlock fans raising their hands when the ice cream sandwich vendors walked by.

Portland batters did not crush the ball — matching the Phillies at five hits apiece — but the Sea Dogs manufactured runs, while Reading ran into outs.

Tim Federowicz and Will Vazquez provided the RBIs.

Starter Stephen Fife (1-0) made his first start and looked like the Eastern League All-Star he was last year, throwing five shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk, striking out one.


Fife’s limit Sunday was to be 75 pitches or five innings. He needed only 59 pitches (37 strikes).

“I got through five just fine,” Fife said. “I’m pretty happy with that. Fairly efficient. A lot of fastballs early in the count. Lot of contact. Thought I was in the zone and we played great defense.”

The only concern came in the fifth after Fife issued his only walk. He looked off balance. The pitching coach and trainer trotted out to check Fife. He was fine.

“It was just my reaction at the way I threw those pitches,” Fife said. “I understand them coming out but there was nothing wrong. I just was upset with myself.”

The runner stayed at first as Fife induced two flyouts.

Seth Garrison and Blake Maxwell kept the shutout, each with two scoreless innings — a repeat performance from their outings in Thursday’s season opener.


The pitching backed up an efficient effort by the offense.

“Really good, common sense small ball,” Fife said.

In the first inning, Phillies starter Chris Kissock (0-1) walked Alex Hassan with one out.

Hassan broke for second base on a straight steal attempt when Jorge Padron singled to right, sending Hassan to third base.

Federowicz flied to right field, scoring Hassan on the sacrifice fly.

In the second inning, Will Middlebrooks continued his hot start (.500) with a deep drive to left center. Center fielder Chris Frey dove for it, and the ball got by. Middlebrooks slid into third with a triple.


Vazquez came up for his first plate appearance of the season. He swung at the first pitch, grounding to second base, scoring Middlebrooks.

“That’s a great at-bat to start the season for Will Vazquez,” Sea Dogs manager Kevin Boles said. “It was a good approach. They gave him a first-pitch fastball and he gives himself up and gets that 4-3 ground-out.”

Defensively, the Sea Dogs threw out three runners. In the first inning, right fielder Chih-Hsien Chiang fired a throw to third base, with no bounce, to get Freddy Galvis trying to advance from first base on a single.

In the third inning, Tuffy Gosewich took off from first base on a fly ball to left field. But there was only one out and Gosewich was easily thrown out for the double play.

In the sixth, with runners on first and third, Garrison faked a pick-off to third, and then turned an picked off Harold Garcia at first.

Notes: For tonight’s game with the Trenton Thunder, the two teams will wear the uniforms of their parent clubs, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. … Trenton is scheduled to start lefty Manny Banuelos, one the Yankees’ top pitching prospects. … New England Patriots tight end Ron Gronkowski will appear at Tuesday’s game to sign autographs and throw out the first pitch. … The announced paid attendance Sunday was 4,733.

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