Aaron Wilkerson again shines, giving up just two hits and fanning eight in 71/3 innings as Portland blanks New Hampshire.

The attention may have been on the touted prospect, but the top performance belonged to the guy who used to pitch in the independent leagues.

Aaron Wilkerson continues to shine for the Portland Sea Dogs, dominating in a 2-0 win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Monday night at Hadlock Field.

Wilkerson (2-1) went 71/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out eight. His ERA dropped to 1.37.

Monday marked the Double-A debut of center fielder Andrew Benintendi. He went 0 for 4, with a strikeout.

That strikeout was one of seven by New Hampshire lefty Shane Dawson (1-2), who lasted six innings.


The Sea Dogs scored in the second inning on a Ryan Court walk, Jake Romanski double and Rainel Rosario’s RBI single.

In the sixth, Nate Freiman hit his first home run since joining the team last week, clearing the center field wall.

That was plenty for Wilkerson, a right-hander who had all his pitches working, especially his change-up against a lineup of seven left-handers.

“The change-up was working phenomenally tonight,” Wilkerson said. “It had a lot more movement and action on it today.”

Chandler Shepherd earned his fourth save, allowing one hit over 12/3 innings.

Benintendi, who flew out of Salem, Virginia, on Monday morning, arrived at Hadlock at 2:45 p.m., dressed and took the field. It was a non-stop day and night.

“Long (day),” Benintendi said. “Going to get some rest and look forward to coming back (Tuesday).”

NOTES: Infielder Sean Coyle returned Monday to Hadlock Field, where he last played in 2014. Coyle was moved down from Triple-A Pawtucket where he was struggling. “I’m trying to find my swing,” he said. He went 0 for 4 Monday … Romanski went 2 for 4 to up his average to .330 … The announced paid attendance was 3,869.

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