PORTLAND, MAINE – The New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, split the doubleheader to the Portland Sea Dogs on Saturday afternoon from Hadlock Field, losing the first game 5-4 in nine innings before winning the second game 11-1, snapping a four-game losing streak.
In the first game, New Hampshire fell in walk-off style for the third time in the series on a game-winning RBI hit from Portland’s Tyler McDonough.
After a Riley Tirotta sacrifice fly brought home the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, New Hampshire led 4-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth. However, a throwing error to first by Hagen Danner (1-1) on a swinging bunt scored the tying run before McDonough drove in the winning run for the Sea Dogs with a single to center field.
In his Double-A debut since being received from High-A Vancouver on Thursday, Tirotta collected his first hit and RBI in one swing with a double off the Maine Monster in left field in the fifth inning. Tirotta led the team with a game-high two RBIs.
Two batters later, Leo Jimenez picked up his first RBI since being activated off the injured list on Tuesday and drove in Tirotta with a single to even the score 3-3.
On the mound, starting left-hander Jimmy Robbins went five innings, allowing four hits, three runs and one walk while striking out four in a no-decision. It’s the third time this season where Robbins has gone five innings in a start. Right-hander Alejandro Melean struck out three in three scoreless and hitless innings of relief.
In the second game, New Hampshire (21-22) broke out for eight runs in the second inning and hit three home runs in the contest en route to an 11-1 win.
Miguel Hiraldohit a grand slam, his fourth homer of the season, and Will Robertsonhit a two-run homer, his fifth of the season, to account for six of the eight runs scored in the second inning. Damiano Palmegianilaunched a two-run homer over the Maine Monster for his sixth home run of the season in the fifth to increase the Fisher Cats lead 11-0.
Three Fisher Cats collected two hits each in the second game (Hiraldo, Orelvis Martinez, and Palmegiani) and every player in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit in the victory. Palmegiani collected his team-leading 10th multi-hit game of the season while Hiraldo picked up his ninth multi-hit game of the year.
Starting pitcher Paxton Schultz(2-3) threw five shutout innings, allowing five hits, no walks and four strikeouts, picking up his second win of the season. It’s the first time Schultz has thrown five shutout innings in a start this season.
The Fisher Cats finish their six-game road trip against the Portland Sea Dogs (30-14) tomorrow at 1:00 pm. RHP Adam Kloffenstein (3-2, 2.20 ERA) will get the start for New Hampshire against RHP CJ Liu (4-2, 2.85 ERA) for Portland.