Andrew Benintendi waited a day to make his impact felt on the Portland Sea Dogs.

Benintendi, one of the top prospects in minor league baseball, knocked in two runs with two hits as Portland topped the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 5-3 Tuesday night at Hadlock Field.

Benintendi, 21, called up from Class A on Monday, singled in the tying run in the third inning, and doubled in the go-ahead run in the fifth.

“Took a little pressure off,” Benintendi said. “Glad to get the first one, and to get the win.”

Keith Couch (2-0) continued a solid string of starts from Portland’s veteran arms, going eight innings and allowing one run on six singles and three walks. He struck out three as his ERA dropped to 0.90 in three starts since coming down from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Couch, Aaron Wilkerson and Justin Haley have combined to allow only two earned runs since April 30, covering 571/3 innings.


“I have to keep up with those guys,” Couch said. “Just the same old, same old.”

That meant pinpoint control with his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, with enough change-ups and sliders for balance.

“He was doing whatever he wanted, working all sides of the plate,” catcher Jake Romanski said.

Romanski was one of four Sea Dogs with two-hit games, along with Benintendi (2 for 3 with a walk), Nate Freiman and Tzu-Wei Lin. Freiman knocked in two runs with a double and sacrifice fly. Sean Coyle also doubled.

New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead in the first with speed. Leadoff hitter Roeman Fields singled on a bunt, stole second, reached third on a fly ball to right-center, and scored on a ground-out.

In the third inning, Lin singled, Coyle walked with two outs, and Benintendi followed with a lined RBI single to right on a fastball from John Anderson (2-4).


In the fifth, Coyle began a two-out rally with a double off the left-field wall. Benintendi followed with a double off the wall in right-center, on a change-up. Freiman doubled him in.

Portland (15-25) loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs. A wild pitch brought in one run and, after Benintendi struck out on a 2-2 change-up, Freiman’s sacrifice fly made it 5-1.

New Hampshire (18-19) got two runs in the ninth on Jorge Saez’s two-run home run off reliever Simon Mercedes.

NOTES: The announced paid attendance was 2,947. … Romanski now has a team-leading 11 multi-hit games and is batting .337. … Besides throwing out a base-stealer in the sixth, Romanski made the catch of the night on a foul pop-up. The ball bounced off the thumb of Romanski’s glove, then his chest, then off his glove again and into his right hand. “That was a tough one,” he said. … The Sea Dogs have won four of their last six games, and have won two straight series for the first time since July of last year.

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