Manchester, NH - The New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) kept their Eastern Division title hopes alive with an 8-5 win over the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies) on Sunday afternoon at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
New Hampshire is now a half game behind the first place Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees), and can win the division with a victory in Monday's regular season finale if the Thunder lose their last two games.
The five-game Eastern Division playoff schedule breaks down as follows:
Game 1 (hosted by second-place team): Wednesday, September 5
Game 2 (hosted by second-place team): Thursday, September 6
Game 3 (hosted by first-place team): Friday, September 7
Game 4 (hosted by first-place team if necessary): Saturday, September 8
Game 5 (hosted by first-place team if necessary): Sunday, September 9
Juan Kelly's three-run homer proved to be the difference on Sunday, turning a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 lead. After Harold Ramirez walked and Andrew Guillotte singled, Kelly tucked a fly ball over the right field fence and inside the foul pole for his 13th homer of the year.
Forrest Wall added a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to give New Hampshire an 8-5 cushion. The Fisher Cats scored one run on an error in the first inning, but all seven of their RBIs came with two outs.
Jon Harris (W, 12-5) wrapped up his regular season with a victory, allowing five runs on 10 hits -- including a two-run homer from Omar Carrizales in the second -- with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
The bullpen was terrific, with Zach Jackson (1.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 3 K), Danny Young (0.1 IP, 1 H) and Corey Copping (1.1 IP, 3 K) keeping Hartford of the board the rest of the way.
Jon Berti, Forrest Wall, Connor Panas and Harold Ramirez each collected two hits. Ramirez's season batting average is at .320, which would be the best in Fisher Cats history over the course of a full season.
Monday's regular season finale is set for a 1:35 p.m. first pitch on Fan Appreciation Day at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. Tickets and playoff vouchers are available now at NHFisherCats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.