Fife continues hot season in 6-0 win
June 07, 2011
The right arm of Stephen Fife grounded the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the opener of a three-game set at Hadlock. The Portland starter pitched himself out of a first inning jam and held Richmond hitless until the 7th inning. The Sea Dogs offense hit 3 Home Runs in support of Fife, as they blanked Richmond 6-0.
Fife found himself in trouble early on, as an error and a walk put two men on with one out. A fielders choice put Jose Flores at 3rd, but Chih-Hsien Chiang made a sliding catch in right field to retire the side.
Chiang would then show that his bat is as good as his glove, sending a 2-run Homer over the wall in center to give Portland an early 2-0 lead. It was Chiang's 10th round-tripper of the year.
Fife settled down in the second inning, getting Nick Noonan to fly out to left before striking out Ryan Lormand and Skyler Stromsmoe back-to-back. Fife would also strike out back-to-back batters in the third.
In the bottom of the third the Sea Dogs bats would strike again. After Jon Hee and Jeremy Hazelbaker both struck out, Alex Hassan hit his 5th Home Run of the season, this one over the Monster.
The Flying Squirrels would get a man on in the fourth, but Fife would not be the one at fault. With two outs in the inning Justin Christian hit a grounder to 3rd, and Will Middlebrooks rushed the throw, sailing it over Jorge Padron's head at 1st. Fife got the next batter to ground out to keep the no-hitter intact.
Padron would give Fife even more breathing room in the fifth, homering over the wall in right after a lead-off single by Oscar Tejeda. Padron's 4th homer of the year made it 5-0 Sea Dogs.
Richmond finally got to Fife in the seventh inning. After Roger Kieschnick flew out to deep center, Christian stepped to the plate, having already killed the no-hitter twice. He would not be denied again, slicing a single over a leaping Middlebrooks to end the night for Fife. He hit the showers after allowing only 1 hit in 6 1/3 innings, striking out 7 and walking 1. Kyle Fernandes came on in relief and got the next two batters out to preserve Fife's shutout.
The Sea Dogs would add one more run in the bottom of the eighth, just for good measure. Hazelbaker led off with a single, and moved to 2nd when Hassan was hit by a pitch. Hazelbaker would score three batters later on a bloop single by Middlebrooks.
Eammon Portice struck out the side for the Sea Dogs in the ninth to end the game.
Fife improved his record to 6-3, lowering his ERA to 2.94 in the process.
Clayton Tanner fell to 1-6 on the year, going 4 1/3 innings, giving up 5 runs on 6 hits with all the runs coming on home runs. He struck out 3, walked 1, and had a balk.
Chiang hit a Home Run for a 4th straight game, tying the club record that Josh Reddick set in 2009.
Between the 5th and 7th innings the Sea Dogs struck out 7 straight times. The first 5 were from Henry Sosa, which were the only 5 batters he faced.
In Sea Dogs-Red Sox affiliate notes, Tommy Hottovy's #21 jersey was placed on the front of the sky box as a former Sea Dogs who made it to the Red Sox. He joins the likes of Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsbury.