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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lavarnway Leads #SeaDogs to Win

To quote the great Yogi Berra, "It ain't over 'til it's over." The Portland Sea Dogs and Binghamton Mets found that out on Wednesday night, as the two clubs battled in a wild back-and-forth contest. Portland jumped out to a 7-0 lead, only to see Binghamton fight back to force extra innings with the score tied at nine. In the top of the tenth inning, the Sea Dogs went ahead for good, as Ryan Lavarnway crushed a two-run homer, giving the visitors an 11-9 win in the series finale.

For the second night in a row, the Sea Dogs got off on the right foot. With two outs in the first, Ray Chang and Luis Exposito picked up back-to-back singles. Anthony Rizzo then appeared to get hit by a pitch, but the ball ended up hitting his bat instead. Binghamton catcher Salomon Manriquez threw over the head of his first baseman, scoring Chang and Exposito with a pair of unearned runs.

One inning later, Portland extended the lead with a five-spot. Jorge Padron singled to start the inning, and Ryan Khoury followed with a flyout. After that, the visitors strung four straight singles together, as Chih-Hsien Chiang, Che-Hsuan Lin, Yamaico Navarro, and Ray Chang all hit it where they weren't. Three batters later, Ryan Lavarnway smacked a ground rule double down the right field line, scoring two more runs for a 7-0 lead.

Salomon Manriquez put the Mets on the board with an RBI single in the second, and one inning later, the Sea Dogs' lead was suddenly shrunk to two. With two down, Marshall Hubbard and Zach Lutz hit back-to-back run scoring doubles, and two batters after that, Manriquez drove in two more with a double of his own.

Both offenses were held at bay in the fourth and fifth innings, but in the sixth, Portland added some padding to the lead. Ray Chang took the second pitch he saw out to left field for his seventh home run of the season. Two batters later, Anthony Rizzo launched his 11th homer of the year to right field. Both longballs came off of reliever Edgar Ramirez, who allowed two runs on two hits in three innings.

Unfortunately for the Sea Dogs, the game was far from over. Zach Lutz led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run, and four batters later, Sean Ratliff hit a pinch hit three-run blast, tying the score at nine.

The game stayed tied until the tenth, when Portland retook the lead. Luis Exposito led off with a walk, and after a flyout by Anthony Rizzo, Ryan Lavarnway clobbered a two-run shot to left field, putting the visitors on top 11-9.

After allowing the tying homer to Ratliff in the eighth, Jason Rice preserved his win with a perfect tenth inning. In the game, Rice (2-2) went two and two-thirds innings, allowing just the home run, while striking out four. Manuel Alvarez (3-1) was the losing pitcher, allowing two runs on one hit in two innings.

The Sea Dogs will begin a new series on Thursday night at 7:00, when they visit the Harrisburg Senators. Kyle Weiland (5-5, 3.82) will get the call in the series opener for Portland, while Harrisburg will turn to Andrew Kown (5-4, 3.89).

Box Score/Recap

Audio Recap

--Courtesy Mike Antonellis--


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