Gonzalez, Cooper strong in return from DL in 3-1 loss
Manchester, NH- In his first start since coming off the DL, Rey Gonzalez pitched six solid innings and Brian Dopirak connected on his league-leading 18th home run, but the New Hampshire Fisher Cats fell to the Portland Sea Dogs 3-1 Saturday night in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 8,126 at Merchantsauto.com Stadium. It was the second highest attendance of the season, and the fifth largest ever at Merchantsauto.com Stadium.
Gonzalez (3-5) surrendered just three earned runs on six hits, two walks (one intentional) and struck out six. David Cooper also returned from the DL for New Hampshire (32-43) to finish 2-for-4 with a pair of singles.
Josh Reddick (1-for-4, HR) opened the scoring with a solo home run to right-center field that put the Sea Dogs on top 1-0 in the third inning. Portland (35-38) extended its lead to 2-0 when Argenis Diaz (2-for-4, R) and Reid Engel (1-for-4) hit consecutive singles in the fifth inning, with Diaz eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Khoury.
The Sea Dogs tacked on a third run in the sixth when Lars Anderson (1-for-3, R) scored on a Gonzalez wild pitch. Anderson reached base with a one-out single and advanced to third on a single by Diaz.
Adam Mills (3-5) earned the win for the Sea Dogs by allowing one earned run on four hits and a walk to go along with four strikeouts in seven innings pitched.
Dustin Richardson recorded his first save of the season. It is also his first professional save since 2006 when he was with Short Season-A Lowell. Richardson pitched two innings and struck out four.
Dopirak (1-for-3, HR) launched a solo home run in the seventh, increasing his Eastern League lead to 18 home runs and 57 RBIs. Darin Mastroianni (1-for-3, SB) recorded his first steal in a Fisher Cats uniform. Mastroianni had 32 steals in single-A Dunedin before being called up to New Hampshire earlier this week.
New Hampshire reliever Edgar Estanga struck out a season-high six batters over three hitless innings.
The third game of the four-game series Sunday at 6:35 p.m. at Merchantsauto.com Stadium will feature Portland starter Felix Doubront (4-2, 3.63) against New Hampshire's Randy Boone (5-4, 4.46). Radio coverage begins with the BayRing Pre-Game Show at 6:15 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network with Bob Lipman.
There will be an Atlas FIREWORKS Show after Sunday's game. For tickets, call (603) 641-2005 or visit www.nhfishercats.com.
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