MANCHESTER — Koby Clemens tied a season high in hits and RBIs with two apiece as he led the New Hampshire Fisher Cats to a 4-2 win over the Altoona Curve at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Batting from the No. 9 spot as the designated hitter, Clemens got a home run to lead off the third inning and drove in another run with a double in the sixth. He finished the day 2-for-2 with a walk.
“I really try to have the same approach no matter where I am in the lineup,” Clemens said. “In the nine hole, you're kind of like the second leadoff guy, trying to start something up again.”
The win was the fourth in a row and first series sweep of the season for the Fisher Cats.
It was the second time Clemens, who was the only Fisher Cat with two hits on the day, had two hits and two RBIs against Altoona. He also did on July 29, which didn't go unnoticed by New Hampshire manager Sal Fasano.
“Koby had a good series against them the last time we played,” Fasano said. “I tried to use him in a situation where we think he can have success.”
That success was evident when Clemens lifted a fastball over the wall in right field and later crushed a double to the outfield wall.
“I just got it enough,” said Clemens about his fourth homer of the year. “Luckily we have a nice porch in right field. A lazy fly ball turns into a homer.”
New Hampshire (53-74) got one run in each the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings for all of its offense. Altoona (59-67) scored both of its runs in the fourth inning.
John Tolisano also went deep for New Hampshire for his seventh home run in the month of August after hitting just five in the first four months of the season. His longball tied the game 2-2 and he drove in the winning run when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth.
“It's the same approach it's been all year, I'm starting to be able to fine-tune it,” Tolisano said about his power this month. “It's all about consistency and trying to put a good swing on each pitch.”
Brandon Morrow, making his third start in Manchester while on a rehab assignment from Toronto, was solid on the mound for New Hampshire. He went the first 4 2/3 innings and was charged with both runs before the bullpen shut down the Curve offense the rest of the way to secure the win.
Three pitchers; Ronald Uviedo, Chorye Spoone and Sam Dyson combined to give up just two hits, walk two and strike out four. Uviedo got the win, Spoone was credited with a hold and Dyson earned his eighth save of the season.
“Lately our bullpen has been outstanding,” Fasano said. “Luckily we have a couple of extra bodies down there, they seem to be fresh and when they come in they're doing a great job.”
Morrow gave up two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking two.
Mike Colla suffered the loss for the Curve. He lasted four innings, gave up three runs, struck out one and walked one. It was the 13th straight loss on the road for the Curve.
New Hampshire will look to keep the momentum going tonight at Binghamton, N.Y., where it will play a three-game series before returning home on Thursday to host New Britain.
“This team has kind of underachieved a little bit all year,” Clemens said. “We've got a lot of great talent, we just haven't been able to put it together for a whole game or whole series. The last four games have shown what this team is capable of doing.”
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NOTES: Newly-acquired catcher Yorvit Torrealba will not make the trip to Binghamton with the Fisher Cats. Instead, he will head north to join the Blue Jays in Toronto. He was pulled out of the game in the fifth inning on Sunday when the Blue Jays officially called him up. Torrealba was 5-for-12 in his four games with New Hampshire.