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Jenkins leads Fishers before big crowd
MANCHESTER — Sinkerballer Chad Jenkins worked seven scoreless inning to capture his first win since April, and the Fisher Cats opened the homestand with a 6-1 triumph against the Reading Phillies on Tuesday night.
Jenkins, a first-round pick, induced 13 grounder outs and allowed only five hits before a season-high attendance of 8,226 on Reading Challenge Night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. It was the eighth-largest crowd in club history.
New Hampshire racked up a dozen hits, including some clutch at-bats from Sean Ochinko, Justin Jackson, John Tolisano and Ryan Goins. They all drove in runs with two outs, giving Fisher Cats pitchers plenty of breathing room.
Ochinko, batting with the bases loaded, snapped a scoreless game with a two-run single in the fourth. Jenkins (3-6) breezed through seven innings, striking out three and walking two. Righty Matt Daly gave up the lone Reading run, a leadoff homer by Darin Ruf in the eighth.
The Fisher Cats scored four times in the sixth inning and chased Reading starter Austin Hyatt (1-1), tagged for six earned runs on nine hits. Goins (3-for-5) fueled the rally with a single, and Tolisano delivered the big blow with a two-run double, ending the night for Hyatt. Goins, batting .313, leads the Eastern League with 86 hits.
Blue Jays outfielder Ben Francisco, serving as designated hitter, went 1-for-4 with a double while continuing a rehab assignment (hamstring) with the Fisher Cats.
Jenkins won for the first time since defeating Binghamton on April 24. The 6-foot-4 righty has yielded one earn run through his past 13 innings.
Daly and Fisher Cats newcomer Steve Marek sealed the rare home win for New Hampshire, which improved to 10-24 along the Merrimack River.
Reading (39-29) dropped into second place behind Trenton in the Eastern Division. Last-place New Hampshire improved to 25-43.
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Kevin Gray may be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @graymatter11.
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