PORTLAND, ME - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) lost a slugfest against the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) Wednesday night at Hadlock Field, a 10-9 defeat that featured a combined 29 hits. With the loss and a Trenton Thunder (Yankees) win in Altoona earlier tonight, the 'Cats and the Thunder are tied for first in the Eastern Division with five games to play, but Trenton owns the tiebreaker.
Trailing 8-3 after four, New Hampshire used a four-run fifth to make it close. Bo Bichette started the inning with a single and Max Pentecost followed with a two-run home run. Santiago Espinal matched the effort later in the frame, launching his first-career Double-A home run over the 37-foot Maine Monster in left field to plate a pair and make it 8-7.
After a scoreless sixth, Portland got two runs (one earned) in the seventh to go up 10-7.
In the eighth, Forrest Wall notched a lead-off single and scored on a Jon Berti triple. Berti came home on a wild pitch as the 'Cats scratched back within one.
Down 10-9 in the ninth, Espinal worked a walk to start the stanza and moved to second on a passed ball during the next at-bat. Despite having the tying run in scoring position with no outs, New Hampshire failed to bring him in and lost 10-9.
Espinal led the way on offense with three hits, three runs scored and two RBI. Bichette, Pentecost, Wall and Andrew Guillotte logged two hits apieve while Danny Young twirled two scoreless frames of relief. Travis Bergen put up a zero in the ninth to extend his scoreless innings streak to 20 frames, a season-high for the Fisher Cats.
New Hampshire concludes the regular season road schedule tomorrow night in Portland. RHP Hector Perez will go for the 'Cats while LHP Kyle Hart gets the nod for the Sea Dogs. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. with the Fisher Cats Pregame Show and continues with first pitch at 7:00 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.