Manchester, NH - Harold Ramirez increased his league-leading batting average to .319 with three hits, but the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) fell 3-1 to the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies) on Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
Hartford put together four consecutive singles on four straight pitches in the top of the first inning to take an early lead. Sam Hillard singled and to second on a single by Brian Mundell. Roberto Ramos knocked in the first run with a single to center and Drew Weeks followed with a run-scoring base hit to make it 2-0 Yard Goats.
The Fisher Cats cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Harold Ramirez singled and Cavan Biggio walked. After they executed a double steal, Ramirez scored on a sacrifice fly by Pat Cantwell.
Hartford added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Mylz Jones reached on a throwing error and Omar Carrizales singled. Jones scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-1.
The Fisher Cats picked up two hits in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Ramirez and Santiago Espinal, but back-to-back groundouts ended the contest as Hartford reliever Matt Pierpont earned his 31st save.
Hartford starter Evan Grills (W, 4-5) worked six shutout innings, allowing two hits, to pick up the win. T. J. Zeuch (L, 9-5) took the loss for New Hampshire (75-60), despite allowing only seven hits (all singles).
The Fisher Cats are now tied with the Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) for first place in the Eastern Division with three regular season games remaining. Trenton has the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The division winner will play Games 1 and 2 on the road Wednesday and Thursday, and host Game 3 Friday (as well as Games 4 and 5 on Saturday and Sunday if necessary). Playoff ticket vouchers are available now at NHFisherCats.com.
The final homestand of the regular season continues on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
Join the Fisher Cats for the first Ovarian Cancer Awareness Night presented by Catholic Medical Center. Show your support by wearing the color teal to the game. At the game, we'll promote awareness and education of the signs, symptoms and rash factors of Ovarian Cancer, while recognizing and supporting survivors and their families and friends. Hood Kids Club Members will get to participate in a pre-game whiffle ball game on the field before the game. An Atlas Fireworks Show will follow the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.