August 15, 2013 - Eastern League (EL) - New Hampshire Fisher Cats
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Four was the magic number for the Fisher Cats on Thursday night in New Britain. In the fourth and final game of their series against the Rock Cats (58-66), A.J. Jimenez drove in four runs and Gabe Jacobo had four hits to power the Fisher Cats (59-63) to a 9-3 win. Chorye Spoone earned his fourth win as New Hampshire stayed alive in the playoff race by taking three of four in the series and earning a split of their 22-game season series in the process.
New Hampshire scored first for the third time in the four-game series. Kevin Nolan singled with one out in the fifth, stealing second base on the very next pitch. He came around to score a few pitches after that when A.J. Jimenez double to right-center field.
An inning later it was a two-out hit to the opposite field that made it 2-0. Andy Burns lined a home run off the base of the right field foul pole for his seventh homer of the season to extend the lead.
Chad Jenkins made the lead stand up through 4.1 innings in his second outing since returning to New Hampshire. He gave up just three hits, striking out three without issuing a walk before turning the ball over to the bullpen.
The Fisher Cats added to the lead in the sixth thanks to a New Britain misplay. Gabe Jacobo was credited with a single when a pop-up fell between two infielders. After another hit by Nolan, Jimenez laced his second double of the game to plate both runners for a 4-0 lead.
The Fisher Cats put the game away in the seventh when they scored five runs to build a 9-0 advantage. Jacobo laced an RBI double to left, and then scored on a Jimenez single to left. Ryan Schimpf put the cherry on the sundae with his league-leading 20th home run to right field.
Spoone (W; 4-3) earned the win with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief after Jenkins left. The Rock Cats did plate three in the eighth in the Double-A debut of Dayton Marze, but they left a pair runners on in the ninth to fall well short in their feeble comeback bid.
Eight of nine Fisher Cats in the line-up had a hit in the 16-hit attack. Jacobo led the way with four while Jimenez and Nolan each finished with three. Burns was 2-5 with his second homer of the series.
The Fisher Cats now come home to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Friday night for a three-game weekend series with the second-place Trenton Thunder (New York Yankees) beginning at 7:05 p.m. Friday's game features Atlas Fireworks. Tickets are available by visiting www.nhfishercats.com, stopping by the box office at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, or by calling (603) 641-2005.
The Fisher Cats will send righty Marcus Walden (6-12, 3.57) to the hill on Friday night. The Thunder have yet to name a starter. You can follow the game beginning at 6:45 p.m. with Tom Gauthier and Bob Lipman on the WGIR Fisher Cats Radio Network and at www.nhfishercats.com.