ERIE (34-13) 10-20-0
PORTAND (23-23) 4-8-1
The first place SeaWolves used another strong starting pitching performance and a huge offensive outburst on Wednesday night at Hadlock Field as they took down the Portland Sea Dogs 10-4.
Erie jumped head in the top of the first inning against Portland starter Matthew Kent. Derek Hill and Isaac Paredes started the game with back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. Jose Azocar and Josh Lester followed with consecutive RBI singles scoring Hill and Paredes for a 2-0 lead.
The ‘Wolves added to the lead in the fifth. Chace Numata extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games with a leadoff single. He moved to third on a Hill double and scored on a ground ball off the bat of Paredes who reached on an error for a 3-0 lead. Azocar followed with an opposite-field, two-run home run, giving Erie a 5-0 advantage.
The lead continued to grow in the top of the fifth. Cam Gibson walked with one out and Sergio Alcantara singled, putting a pair on base. Numata and Hill then hit back-to-back RBI singles for a 7-0 lead.
SeaWolves starter Tarik Skubal was brilliant in his sixth Double-A start. He began the game by striking out the first six batters. He would go on to work a 1-2-3 third and retired the first two hitters of the fourth before giving up a double to C.J. Chatham for the Dogs first hit of the game. Skubal faced one over the minimum in five innings of work and racked up 10 strikeouts. It was the fifth time in six starts where the lefty struck out at least 10 hitters. He is now one double-digit strikeout game away from tying the franchise record of six, held by Joel Zumaya who did it over 22 starts spanning two seasons.
All of the Sea Dogs runs came in the home half of the sixth against Erie righty Anthon Castro. Jeremy Rivera led off with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. With one out, Jarren Duran walked and Marcus Williams followed with a double, plating Rivera making it 7-1. With runners on a second and third, a second passed ball of the inning scored Duran and moved Wilson to third. Chatham then connected on a two-run home run, cutting the Erie lead down to three runs. Castro walked Joey Curletta and was lifted for Logan Shore. Shore struck out Luke Tendler and Michael Osinski, getting Erie out of the jam.
The Erie offense again responded in the top of the seventh. Numata and Hill each singled with one out and both advanced on a passed ball. Paredes singled home both baserunners for a 9-4 Erie lead. It was Paredes fourth hit of the game and he now has eight multi-hit games in his past 10 games played.
The game’s final run came in the top of the eighth as Daniel Pinero blasted a solo home run over the “Maine Monster” in left for a 10-4 lead. The home run was Pinero’s 10th.
Hill led off the ninth for the ‘Wolves with a single for his fifth knock of the game. It was Hill’s first career five-hit game. Hill is the first SeaWolves batter with a five-hit game since Mike Gerber swatted five on May 3, 2017 against Bowie. The base hit was also Erie’s 20th of the game, a season-best.
Shore, along with relievers Zac Houston and Mark Ecker combined to keep Portland scoreless over the final 3.2 innings.
Skubal (1-1) earned his first Double-A win. He hurled five scoreless, allowing one hit with no walks and 10 strikeouts.
Kent (5-4) took the loss for the Sea Dogs allowing seven runs, six earned, on 13 hits with two walks and five strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
The SeaWolves look for their eighth straight series win on Thursday at noon. RHP Alex Faedo (6-6, 3.99 ERA) takes the mound for Erie against RHP Konner Wade (2-4, 3.03 ERA).