MANCHESTER, NH – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats have now won four straight and seven of their last ten games following their 11-2 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs on Tuesday night.
Portland’s two runs came in the first, punctuated by a Josh Ockimey’s sixth homer of the year.
But after that tough start, Fisher Cats hurler Josh DeGraaf shut down the future Red Sox, striking out the side in the second and allowing just three more hits over his 5 2/3 inning performance.
Meanwhile, the Fisher Cat bats once again sprung to life, beginning with Juan Kelly’s RBI single in the second, bringing Max Pentecost across the plate.
Andrew Guillotte then set the stage in the third with a leadoff triple, coming home one at-bat later, courtesy of Bo Bichette.
The game would not remain tied for long, as Vladimir Guerrero Jr. brought Bichette home on his 11th home run of the year before the Sea Dogs finally retired the side.
New Hampshire sent eight men to the plate in that third inning blitz, but they were by no means done.
They’d send five men across the plate in the sixth, batting around the order with their first six batters reaching base safely.
Poor fielding and hits from Guillotte and Gunnar Heidt turned into two more runs in the seventh, an extra flourish to yet another stellar offensive evening for New Hampshire.
The only starting Fisher Cat without a hit was the rehabbing Blue Jay Aledmys Diaz, replaced by Heidt in the top of the sixth.
Bichette, Heidt, Pentecost, Guillotte, Kelly and Harold Ramirez each had two hits. Guerrero ended the night with three RBI to cement his lead atop the Eastern League’s RBI category and give him just under a quarter of Portland’s combined season total as a team.
DeGraaf (1-1) struck out eight, the first time he’s done so in just over three seasons as a professional, with Jose Fernandez and Dusty Isaacs limiting the Sea Dogs to just one combined hits after DeGraaf’s departure.
Teddy Stankiewicz (4-5) was the loser of record for Portland, giving up 11 hits in five innings of work, more than double the amount he allowed against New Hampshire on May 8.
The second game of the series pits Portland’s Mike Shawaryn (2-5, 3.75 ERA) against Justin Dillon, who will be making his Fisher Cat debut after a combined 4-5 record at Single A-Advanced Dunedin and Triple-A Buffalo earlier this season.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.