PORTLAND, ME - Jon Berti hit for the second cycle in New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) history Tuesday night, leading the 'Cats to an 8-4 win over the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox) at Hadlock Field.
Berti completed the natural cycle (single, double, triple, home run in order) in the ninth. As the first batter of the inning, the Troy, Michigan native launched a solo home run the opposite way to give New Hampshire an 8-3 lead. Berti becomes the second Fisher Cat this season to hit for the cycle; Jonathan Davis did so on June 26 against Portland at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Bo Bichette started the scoring in the top of the first. He doubled with one out, stole third and scored on an errant throw from the catcher to make it 1-0 'Cats.
Portland answered with a two-run dinger in the bottom of the inning, but the 'Cats went back in front with a three-run third. Berti singled with two outs and Bichette followed with his 11th home run of the season. Harold Ramirez stepped up next and hit a solo homer as the Fisher Cats went back-to-back for the fifth time this season.
Leading 4-3 to start the fifth, New Hampshire put the game away for good. Pat Cantwell started the frame with a triple and scored when Berti doubled him home. Cavan Biggio singled in Berti later in the frame to give the Blue Jays affiliate a 6-3 advantage through five.
Berti tripled to begin the seventh and became the seventh run of the game for the Fisher Cats when Bichette's second double of the night brought him home.
Jon Harris (W, 11-5) went five innings and allowed three runs on four hits - including two home runs - with two walks and six strikeouts. Francisco Rios (H, 2) and Dusty Isaacs were strong in relief; both worked two innings while the former blanked the 'Dogs and the latter struck out four.
The first four hitters in New Hampshire's lineup tonight - Berti, Bichette, Ramirez and Biggio - combined to go 11-19 with seven runs scored and seven RBI.
With the win, the Fisher Cats have whittled their magic number to clinch the Eastern Division down to six games with six to play.
The series continues Wednesday night at Hadlock Field. RHP Jordan Romano (10-7, 3.71 ERA) will go for New Hampshire as Portland sends LHP Matt Kent (10-8, 3.15 ERA) to hill. 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.