PORTLAND, Maine — Baseball season ended in New England this week when the Red Sox failed to make the playoffs. The farm system has a big role to play in ensuring a better outcome next year. And the Portland Sea Dogs already have their preparations well underway.

The 2020 Sea Dogs schedule is out. It begins on the road in Hartford, Connecticut, on Thursday, April 9. The Trenton Thunder will be the visitors for the Dogs' first home game on Thursday, April 16.

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The April weather can be a challenge in Portland with the threat of snow still a serious possibility. The grounds crew at Hadlock Field will get a bit of a break this year with only seven home games on the schedule for April.

The Sea Dogs will make up for their early travels by backloading the season with the year's longest homestand, running for eight games from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7.

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Families that are looking for a holiday activity have several games from which to choose. The Sea Dogs will be at home on Memorial Day and Labor Day. Independence Day celebrations at Hadlock will take place a day early at the game on July 3.

The Hadlock Field box office begins selling individual game tickets for the 2020 season on Nov. 2.

The Portland Sea Dogs are the Red Sox's Double-A affiliate. They finished their 26th season in 2019 at the bottom of the Eastern League's Eastern Division with a record of 62-77.