Vinny Capra, Jordan Groshans, Otto Lopez, and Gabriel Moreno each hit homers, Simeon Woods Richardson struck out a career-high nine batters, and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays Double-A affiliate) edged the Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies) 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at Delta Dental Stadium. After dropping the first three games of the series, New Hampshire won three in a row to earn a split with Hartford.
The Fisher Cats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second with a Chavez Young RBI single and an LJ Talley sacrifice fly.
Moreno, who leads the Double-A Northeast League in batting average and RBI, launched a two-run blast over the right field fence in the third inning to make it 4-0. It was the first of a season-high four home runs for the Fisher Cats.
Hartford drew within one run on a three-run double from Willie Abreu in the fourth, but Lopez, who ranks second in the league in batting average, crushed his first homer of the season to dead center field to extend the lead to 5-3 in the fifth.
The Yard Goats again cut the lead to one with a Sean Bouchard RBI single in the top of the seventh before Groshans made it 6-4 with a solo shot over the fence in right in the bottom half. Later in the inning, Capra launched a solo home run of his own to right center to extend the lead to 7-4.
A sac fly from Austin Martin made it 8-4 in the eighth. Hartford homered in the ninth to cap the scoring at 8-5, but Brody Rodning recorded the final three outs to seal the win.
Woods Richardson (W, 2-0) held Hartford to three runs on four hits with a walk and a career-high nine strikeouts in five innings.
Kyle Johnston took over for the next three innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Groshans and Moreno each finished 3-for-4 with a home run.
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