New Hampshire Hardball

Fisher Cats rally falls short

MANCHESTER — Nash Knight had two hits, driving in two runs, but the Fisher Cats (Toronto Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) fell 4-3 to the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies) on Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.

Hartford put runs on the board in both the third and fourth innings. Manny Melendez was hit by a pitch and scored on an error to make it 1-0. Alan Trejo singled and Willie Abreu ripped a double down the left field line for another run the next inning.

The Yard Goats extended the lead to 4-0 with three hits in the top of the fifth against starter and losing pitcher Patrick Murphy  (L, 0-4). Colton Welker doubled and scored on a double by Vince FernandezArvicent Perez followed with a run-scoring single.

Murphy allowed three earned runs in six innings, while matching a career high with eight strikeouts and no walks.

New Hampshire was able to trim the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Santiago Espinal doubled and Kevin Smith  walked. Brock Lundquist singled home Espinal and Knight followed with a two-run double.

Brandon Gold (2-2) earned the win for the Yard Goats, working five scoreless frames before turning it over to the bullpen. Ben Bowden finished the ninth for his league-leading eighth save.

Notes: Hartford’s lead in the season series is 6-3 with the teams competing again in 2019 for the Plymouth Rock Assurance Cup. New Hampshire won the Cup in 2017 and 2018. … The Fisher Cats bullpen has not allowed an earned run in the last 23 innings. On Friday, Jackson McClelland  (2.0 IP) and Danny Young  (1.0 IP) kept Hartford off the board in the late innings. … The Fisher Cats and Yard Goats continue the series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. For the first time this season, the Fisher Cats are transforming into the Gatos Feroces in celebration of the culture and values of the Latinx community. The Yard Goats will suit up as Los Chivos de Hartford as well.

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