The Fisher Cats on Thursday night played like a team with no room for error.
Backed by solid pitching from Marcus Stroman and heavy hitting by Ryan Schimpf and Adam Loewen, New Hampshire handed the host Reading (Pa.) Fightin' Phils a 12-4 setback, boosting their still-long chances at a playoff spot.
Schimpf hit a two-run homer in a four-run fourth inning, then added a solo shot in the sixth. Loewen clubbed a solo homer in the seventh, one of his three hits. He finished with three RBIs.
Stroman went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five hits and two runs. He fanned eight.
The victory allowed New Hampshire to pull to within three games of second-place Trenton in the Eastern League's Eastern Division, pending Trenton's game on Thursday night against Portland. The top two teams in each division make the playoffs.