READING, PA -- The New Hampshire Fisher Cats scored three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth, powering a 5-2 victory over the host Reading Fightin' Phils at EnergyNorth Stadium on Wednesday.
The Fisher Cats (14-13) avoided a sweep and picked up just their third road victory of the 2015 season in the win. The Fightin' Phils (15-10) had a three-game winning streak snapped, and stranded the tying run late in the ballgame to squander a good chance to even things up.
New Hampshire struck first in the top of the fourth inning against Reading starter Zach Eflin (L, 2-2). After a two-out single by K.C. Hobson, Emilio Guerrero drew a walk to put runners at first and second for Jack Murphy. The New Hampshire catcher ripped a double to right, scoring both runs. He then came home on Jorge Flores's RBI single to center, giving the Fisher Cats an early 3-0 advantage.
Reading got on the board in the bottom of the inning. After Tony Thomas knocked a one-out single, Aaron Altherr smashed a double to left-center field off Fisher Cats starter Matt Boyd (W, 2-1) to plate Thomas and make it a 3-1 game.
The Fisher Cats added on some more scoring in the top of the fifth against Eflin. Jon Berti led off with a double to left and came home when Dwight Smith, Jr. immediately followed with an RBI double of his own. Jake Fox then singled home Smith, making it a 5-1 lead for the visitors.
The Fightin' Phils got a run back in the bottom of the sixth, with Roman Quinn coming home on a sacrifice fly by Altherr; the hitter reached on the play when Berti dropped the fly ball. With Thomas and Altherr aboard, though, Boyd induced a double play and a fly out to get out of trouble. Reading loaded the bases in the eighth inning against reliever Danny Barnes, but closer Blake McFarland got a pop-out and a ground-out to end the threat, and set down the side in order in the ninth for the save.
Boyd earned the victory, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks over six innings while whiffing four. Barnes gave up three hits and a walk in a scoreless inning's worth of action. McFarland earned his third save of the season with 1.2 flawless frames, striking out two for the Fisher Cats.
The Fisher Cats return to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Friday, May 8 to play Trenton. Casey Lawrence (1-3, 3.75) will get the ball for the Fisher Cats against the Thunder. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m., and coverage with Tom Gauthier begins at 6:15 p.m. on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network and online at www.nhfishercats.com.
An Atlas Fireworks Show will follow the 6:35 p.m. contest. Tickets are available by visiting www.nhfishercats.com., stopping by the Fisher Cats ticket office, or by calling (603) 641-2005.