Juan Kelly grand slam concludes F-Cats’ Monday offensive barrage

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Juan Kelly (New Hampshire FIsher Cats promotional photo)


HARTFORD, Conn. – Generally, the threshold for a good offensive night in baseball is obtaining ten hits, something the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were able to achieve after just three innings on Monday night, earning a 10-5 win over the Hartford Yard Goats.

Hartford hurler Jack Wynkoop allowed 11 hits in a three-inning appearance, the second time he’s allowed 11 hits over three innings in his career to the Fisher Cats.

The first one of those hits was Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s sixth home run of the year, a solo shot in the first that served as a precursor for what was to come.

Guerrero’s blast was actually the only damage Wynkoop allowed in that opening frame, but the Yard Goats let the flood gates open in the second.

Beginning with a throwing error that allowed Patrick Cantwell on base to lead the inning, the Fisher Cats followed with seven of their next eight batters reaching base.

New Hampshire would add three more runs during that second inning rally, and probably would have been able to add more if not for a base running error by Gunnar Heidt. However, it looked like the Yard Goats’ poor start would be erased in the fifth, with Hartford scoring three runs off five hits before New Hampshire starter Jon Harris finally retired the side.

The Fisher Cats immediately answered with four consecutive hits to lead off the fourth, building their lead back up to three runs, only to see that lead fall back to one after Hartford scores in the fifth and sixth.

Ultimately it would take a Juan Kelly pinch-hit grand slam in the eighth to remove any lingering doubt from the contest, taking a 3-1 fastball deep off Jack Griggs.

New Hampshire got three hit days from Guerrero, Bo Bichette and Connor Panas, with Andrew Guillotte also contributing two hits.

It was a strong day at the plate for Hartford as well, with Mylz Jones contributing three hits, including a homer in the sixth, and Garrett Hampson, Yonathan Daza and Wes Rogers ending the day with two hits each.

On the mound, Hartford’s relievers allowed just four hits over six innings of work, but the damage was done as Wynkoop (2-2) got the loss, allowing five earned runs off 11 hits and three walks.

Harris (2-3) got the win, going 5 2/3 innings, also allowing 11 of Hartford’s 12 hits on the evening.

Tomorrow, Nick Tepesch (1-2, 4.68 ERA) takes the mound for New Hampshire against Hartford’s Ryan Castellani (2-2, 3.62 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., with Wednesday’s contest starting at 10:35 am.