MANCHESTER — The New Hampshire Fisher Cats snapped their three-game losing streak with a wild and crazy — and melee-delayed — 6-4 win over Altoona in front of 4,634 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Wednesday night.
Left-hander Daniel Norris, just up from Dunedin, pitched well in his Double-A debut and was gone by the time the wildness began.The Fisher Cats rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take their first lead of the game at 6-4.
Jon Berti’s ground ball single to center scored a pair of runs. Kevin Nolan worked a bases-loaded walk for the other.New Hampshire allowed a run in the top of the ninth, but held off an Altoona rally for the win.
The benches and bullpens emptied and players and coaches gathered on and around the mound after the second pitch of the seventh inning from New Hampshire’s Arik Sikula to leadoff hitter Jarek Cunningham was up and around the batter’s head.
Cunningham immediately dropped his bat and charged the mound.
When order was restored after about a 20-minute delay, six Fisher Cats, including manager Bobby Meacham, and three Altoona players had been ejected.
Both benches had been warned after New Hampshire’s Andy Burns was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Altoona’s Stetson Allie had been hit by a pitch in the top of the sixth.
Meacham’s ejection was automatic when Sikula was thrown out.
Mike McDade, Dustin Antolin, K.C. Hobson and Yusuf Carter were the other Fisher Cats ejected.
Cunningham, Gift Ngoepe and Keon Broxton were the Altoona players thrown out.
The Fisher Cats improved to 29-40 and Altoona fell to 25-42.
Round, er, Game 3 of the series is tonight at 7:05.
Right-hander Richard Bleier pitches for New Hampshire and righty Pat Ludwig goes for Altoona.
Norris allowed four hits and four runs. He struck out nine, walked one and hit a batter.
Norris, listed by Baseball America as Toronto’s No. 6 prospect, did not allow a home run in his 66 1/3innings at Dunedin.
The Curve nicked him for a couple and moved in front 3-0 as a result.
Elias Diaz homered to lead off the second inning.
With two outs in the third, Diaz walked and Stetson Allie followed with a two-run home run to right field.
The Fisher Cats got two of the runs back with an Andy Burns home run down the line in right in the bottom of the fourth.
Kenny Wilson bunted for a single and his team’s first hit to start the inning. One out later, Burns contributed his sixth home run of the season.
Altoona’s Willy Garcia walked to lead off the fifth, went to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch for 4-2.Sikula came on with two outs and runners on second and third in the sixth and, after walking a batter, got a strikeout to end the inning.