PORTLAND — Bright orange. Purple. Blue. Day-Glo green. Splashes of color decorated the landscape Thursday as a summer tradition continued at Hadlock Field.

A weekday Portland Sea Dogs game brings out the kids, bused in from recreation centers and summer camps, complete in their identifiable, vibrant T-shirts.

They devour ice cream, make a lot of noise and break into dance to the music between innings.
What they didn’t do was watch a Sea Dogs victory.

Joe Panik launched a three-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Richmond Flying Squirrels a 4-1 victory against Portland before a crowd of 6,919 at Hadlock.

Richmond (58-59) not only completed a three-game sweep of the Sea Dogs (56-61) but swept the season series, 6-0.

Offense remains a current problem for Portland. The Sea Dogs totaled seven hits and six walks but got little for it, leaving 10 men on.

“We’re a better offensive club than we’re showing right now,” Manager Kevin Boles said. “We’re collecting hits but we’re not executing with runners in scoring position.”

Christian Vazquez and Juan Carlos Linares both recorded two hits for the Sea Dogs. Garin Cecchini walked three times.

Portland starter Terry Doyle (1-4) pitched a solid game despite not having his secondary pitches.

“Fastball command is what did it for me,” Doyle said. “I didn’t really throw many good sliders or curveballs.”

Doyle limited the Squirrels to six hits and one run over six innings. In the seventh, he allowed a leadoff single to Tyler LaTorre.

Richmond then bunted. Vazquez, the catcher, hurried a throw to second base, bouncing it past shortstop Heiker Meneses, putting two runners on with no outs. After another sacrifice moved the runners to second and third, Panik came to the plate.

Panik, rated the Giants’ No. 2 prospect by Baseball America, crushed a 90 mph fastball to the fourth level of signage in right-center field.

“It was supposed to be a fastball in and I left it too much in the middle,” Doyle said.

The Sea Dogs scored once in the seventh.

Matt Spring reached base on an error and Linares doubled him to third base. Spring then scored on Ryan Dent’s groundout.

The Sea Dogs loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning, but Linares ended it by grounding out.

NOTES: Friday’s 6 p.m. home game is one of the most anticipated this season as a highly touted pitching prospect, Henry Owens, makes his Hadlock debut. Owens, 21, made his first Double-A start last week, and allowed four hits and no runs over six innings at Bowie. “That first outing was very impressive,” Boles said. He faces Bowie again Friday. … The game time is a change from the original schedule to accommodate a rescheduled fireworks show afterward. … Julia Clukey, an Augusta native and Olympic competitor in the luge, threw out the first pitch.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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