Fisher Cats return home with walk-off win

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Credit/Kristin Basnett

Manchester, N.H. – The Fisher Cats returned to Delta Dental Stadium on Tuesday night for their first home game in 16 days. Fans were not disappointed, as the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (20-25) won, 6-5, in 10 innings over the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox, 22-24) thanks to a walk-off single from Rafael Lantigua.

The 5-foot-8 left fielder stepped up with the game tied, 5-5, in the bottom of the tenth. Sebastian Espino was on third after reaching on a Portland error and advancing on another throwing error.

Lantigua had been on fire, entering Tuesday batting .324 with 10 doubles in the month of May. On Sunday, he hit his first triple in a win over Akron.

He took a fastball from Portland’s Chase Shugart to start the at bat. Then, he smacked a curveball into deep left-center field to score Espino and give New Hampshire their first walk-off win of the season. The Fisher Cats tied the game one batter earlier when Will Robertson slid home on a Portland throwing error.

The Sea Dogs made four errors in the game.

Blue Jays No. 2 prospect Orelvis Martinez came up in a big spot in the bottom of the eighth to bring the Fisher Cats even with Portland, 4-4. Following a Sea Dogs pitching change, Martinez belted a two-out, 2-RBI double to left-center field. Martinez has hits in seven of his last eight games and has six RBIs in his last five starts.

Portland scored their first four runs on Christian Koss grand slam in the top of the eighth. Prior to the eighth, Nick Fraze had allowed just three baserunners. He finished with 4.0 innings of relief, allowing five hits and four earned runs. Fraze walked one and struck out four. Tuesday was the 24-year-old righty’s first appearance out of the bullpen this season.

Hayden Juenger turned in 4.0 innings of scoreless work in his team-high 10th start of the season. The righty from Missouri State allowed just one hit, walked three and struck out three. He threw 63 pitches, 38 of which were strikes. His WHIP on the year is 1.11.

Robertson hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third inning to put New Hampshire on the board, 1-0. The blast was crushed over the right-field wall for Robertson’s sixth home run of the season and fifth of the month.

Sea Dogs starter Victor Santos threw a season-high 7.0 innings allowing just one earned run on four hits. He walked none and struck out five. Koss had all five of Portland’s RBIs.

New Hampshire continues their homestand on Wednesday, June 1 at 6:35 p.m. versus the Portland Sea Dogs (Boston Red Sox).

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