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Fisher Cats home for seven games

Staff report
June 23. 2013 6:57PM

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats will entertain the Portland Sea Dogs this week as part of a seven-game homestand.

The week-long batch of home games begins tonight when the Reading Fightin Phils visit for a 7:05 p.m. game at Delta Dental Stadium. Reading is in town through Wednesday and the Red Sox affiliate Sea Dogs come calling for four games from Thursday to Sunday.

Tuesday night's game will be a special "State Champions Night" where the Fisher Cats will welcome NHIAA title teams with a pre-game ceremony. When the Sea Dogs come to town Thursday, they will likely have in tow newly promoted prospect Garin Cecchini.

The Red Sox assigned Cecchini, a third baseman, to Portland from the High-A Salem Red Sox on Friday. Cecchini made his Double-A debut that night against Trenton, going 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Cecchini went 0-for-4 Saturday but followed with a strong outing on Sunday, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.

A good baserunner with a strong arm, Cecchini is ranked the No. 8 prospect in the Boston system, according to Baseball America. In 63 games with Salem, Cecchini was leading the Carolina League with a .350 batting average to go along with five homers and 33 RBIs.

Cecchini is 22 years old and was a fourth-round pick in 2010. His brother Gavin was the 12th overall pick by the New York Mets in the 2012 Draft.

Another top Sox prospect coming to town is Sea Dogs pitcher Anthony Ranaudo, who should be in line to pitch against the Fisher Cats on Saturday. Ranaudo is 7-1 with a 2.34 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 73 innings.

On the Reading side, the Fightin Phils have a highly touted prospect who was recently called up to Double-A in third baseman Maikel Franco. In three games with Reading, Franco has gone 3-for-12 with a home run.

One of Philadelphia's top pitching prosepects, righty Jesse Biddle, has strugged in Double-A this season and is projected to pitch against New Hampshire on Tuesday.

Biddle is big at 6-foot-4 and was the Phillies' first-round pick in 2010 (27th overall). A Philly native the hometown team would love to groom into a quality MLB starter, Biddle is 3-7 with a 3.29 ERA with Reading.

When Biddle is good, he's real good. Twice he has thrown six-plus scoreless innings and also posted an ERA under 2.00 in two more starts. But he's also been roughed up in three other starts.

NOTES: Hot-hitting Fisher Cats rightfielder Kevin Pillar has been promoted to Triple-A Buffalo. Pillar is off to a good start with the Bisons, going 3-for-7 with three RBIs in three games...Reliever Randy Boone has pitched well since his return from Tommy John surgery. A former starter, Boone has not allowed an earned run in his last 10 relief appearances...The Fisher Cats have two new players on the roster, though one of them, pitcher Alan Farina, has been with the team before. Third baseman Andy Burns is the other newcomer. Burns is off to a good start with four hits in 13 at bats so far.

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