New Hampshire’s six-game road trip last week ended better than it started. This week the Fisher Cats get a chance to atone for their bad start when they host Akron for a three-game series beginning today at 6:35 p.m.
Last week, the Aeros swept the Fisher Cats (31-33) at Canal Park, but New Hampshire ended its six-game Western Division road trip with a three-game sweep of Erie over the weekend.
Leadoff hitter Kevin Pillar batted .320 (8-for-25) during the road trip and owns a .315 average, third highest in the Eastern League among batters with over 200 at-bats. Pillar leads the circuit with 267 plate appearances and is tied for fifth in stolen bases with 14. He is tied for 11th in runs scored with 38, four behind the leader.
Pillar tied a New Hampshire record for most hits in a month with 41 in May, tying Ryan Goins’ mark set last season.
Pillar finished May with a .318 average, 22 runs and 13 RBIs. Among his 41 hits were nine doubles, two triples and two home runs.
Akron (31-32) managed to sweep New Hampshire with some help from first baseman Jesus Aguilar. He was 5-for-12 in the series with five RBIs.
Tonight at 6:35 p.m., in a pitching rematch from last Wednesday’s game, New Hampshire’s Marcus Walden (4-6, 3.25) takes the hill against Akron’s Matt Packer (3-5, 3.22).
In the 11-2 loss that day, Walden pitched well, allowing three runs, four walks and six hits. He left the game with New Hampshire trailing 3-2 after six innings. Reliever Tyson Brummett was hammered for eight hits and eight runs as the Aeros turned a close game into a rout.
On Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. in another rematch from a week ago, righthander Toru Murata of Akron (3-3, 3.80) battles Deck McGuire (3-6, 5.35). Murata went seven innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs for the mound win. He fanned six and walked no one on 96 pitches, 64 for strikes. McGuire struck out nine batters in that outing, allowing three runs and four hits before departing in the sixth inning with two outs.
The series finale on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. features Akron’s Brett Brach (3-2, 4.54) against Ryan Tepera (6-4, 4.12).
The Fisher Cats will hand out a David Ortiz Mini Bobblehead to the first 1,000 fans on Wednesday and from, Thursday through Saturday, the team will hold a fireworks show after each game.
Erie visits Manchester for a three-game set beginning Friday. Game time starts for that series is 7:05 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:35 p.m. Sunday when the Fisher Cats honor Father’s Day with a baseball giveaway promotion.