Almost two months ago, the Portland Sea Dogs hit a low mark, dropping to 29-49, easily out of contention.

Since then, Portland has grinded out a 26-21 mark, including a 3-2 walk-off win over the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Tuesday night before 7,163 at Hadlock Field.

Two errors did the trick this time.

Chris Madera reached on a fielding error. Then Danny Mars bunted, and pitcher Zach Jackson (2-3) threw the ball into right field. With Manager Darren Fenster waving frantically, Madera raced around the bases and slid safely home.

“We’ve really come together as a team, playing good baseball,” Mars said. “Pitching has been unbelievable, we’re having good at-bats and find ways to win.”

Reliever Adam Lau pitched three no-hit innings and Jordan Weems (4-3) allowed a walk in the ninth.


Sea Dogs third baseman Michael Chavis tied the game earlier with a two-run homer.

The starters dominated early. Daniel McGrath, the left-handed, sidearmed former reliever from Australia, gave up no runs over the first five innings, allowing four hits and no walks, striking out six.

New Hampshire right-hander T.J. Zeuch, a first-round draft pick in 2016 out of Pittsburgh, matched the zeroes over five innings (two hits, one walk and five strikeouts).

Both got dinged in the sixth.

McGrath, making only his ninth start, was coming off a season-high 80-pitch performance last Thursday. He appeared to tire in the sixth inning, not recording an out and allowing a walk, single and Cavan Biggio’s two-run double to left-center for a 2-0 New Hampshire lead. He exited after 95 pitches.

Lau relieved and stranded Biggio.


Zeuch began the sixth allowing a Chad De La Guerra single. Chavis came up and smoked a slider to straightaway center – 408 feet, 106 mph off the bat – tying the game.

Lau kept the game tied, allowing two walks and striking out four.

Portland and Chavis threatened in the seventh. Two walks and a Mars single loaded the bases with two outs against reliever Corey Copping.

New Hampshire Manager John Schneider called on Jackson McClelland, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound right-hander in only his second Double-A game. Delivering 98 mph fastballs, McClelland got the count to 2-2. Chavis fouled off four straight pitches before whiffing on an outside slider.

In the eighth, Luke Tendler doubled off McClelland. Racing right field Connor Panas reached Tendler’s line drive, but could not catch it. Pinch-runner Johnny Bladel reached third with two outs, but McClelland struck out Austin Rei.

The game went to the ninth and the Sea Dogs (55-70) were soon celebrating their sixth win in eight games on the homestand. New Hampshire dropped to 69-55.


NOTES: Chavis’ home run was his sixth and extended his hitting streak to nine games. In 30 games with the Sea Dogs, Chavis is batting .297/.899 OPS … Bobby Dalbec hit his sixth double in 17 games with Portland. He’s batting .295/1.020 …The Sea Dogs and Fisher Cats continue their matchups Wednesday with a doubleheader in Manchester. The Fisher Cats return to Portland Aug. 27-30, the Sea Dogs’ final homestand of 2018.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-7411 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: @ClearTheBases

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