Patrick Murphy was in complete control for the first five innings of New Hampshire’s game with Reading last night. Sitting 94-96 with his fastball and touching 97, Murphy pared that heat with a curve and change that he much better command over compared to a week ago. Over the first 5, Murphy gave up only a pair of hits and fanned 6, but in the 6th caught too much of the plate with a FB, and OF Mickey Moniak hit a two run shot over the RF wall to tie the game. Fatigue was likely a factor in the 7th as Murphy gave up another pair of runs, both unearned.
Those runs set the stage for a dramatic bottom of the 9th for the Fisher Cats. Down to their last strike, Ryan Hissey hit a two run homer to bring them within a run. Vinny Capra walked, stole 2nd, and scampered home with the winning run on a Josh Palacios single.
At Lansing, starter Joey Murray struck out the side in each of the first two innings, but had trouble finding a consistent release point in the 2nd, and was pounded by West Michigan for five runs. Lansing chipped away at that lead, and thanks to five innings of scoreless relief from Jackson Rees (8Ks), the Lugs made a game, but fell 6-4. Lansing hurlers fanned 15 White Caps for the second successive night. It was an odd game, with a pair of Catcher’s Interference calls, and two Lugnuts called out for being hit with batted balls on bunts. Hagen Danner hit his 3rd HR of the year, a towering shot to lead off the 7th. SS Jordan Groshans was removed from the game after the bottom of the 4th, no word was given as to why.
In Fort Myers, the drought continued for the visiting Dunedin Blue Jays, as they were shut out 4-0, extending their runless streak to 20 innings. Maximo Castillo pitched well other than for a three-run 2nd, but was a victim of non-support. Chavez Young made a highlight catch at the CF wall in the 1st.
The finale of Buffalo’s game with Pawtucket was cancelled due to cold conditions, and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on April 29th. Buffalo takes to the road to play Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and received news that top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr will join them there after a rehab stint in Dunedin.