New Britain, Conn. - The New Britain Rock Cats got two home runs from 20-year-old slugger Miguel Sano and rallied for four runs in the sixth to take the series opener from the Fightin Phils, 7-3, on Friday night in front of 5,880 fans at New Britain Stadium.
Reading (60-79) jumped out to an early 3-0 advantage after 2 1/2 innings. Maikel Franco drove in his 103rd run overall this season and the first run of the game thanks to the speed of Zach Collier who was in motion and scored all of the way from first base on a single to left field in the first inning. Jim Murphy picked up his 83rd RBI with a double to left in the third inning that made it a 3-0 game.
An error got the Rock Cats (65-74) on the board in the bottom of the third, and Sano crushed a 2-2 fastball from Ryan Demmin to deep right-center leading off the bottom of the fourth to make it a one-run game, 3-2.
After the Fightin Phils failed to take advantage of getting the first two men on base in the top of the sixth, New Britain sent nine men to the plate in a four-run bottom of the sixth. Sano hit his second home run of the night - his 35th overall - a two-run shot to left-center to give the Rock Cats their first lead, 4-3. Then, Jordan Parraz took advantage of a bases-loaded, two-out situation with a two-run single to center that made it 6-3.
Demmin (1-2), who pitched very well over the first five innings, suffered the loss in his third and final outing with the Fightin Phils. He allowed six runs, five earned, and six hits in six innings of work, striking out four batters and walking two. The 25-year-old threw 93 pitches, 60 strikes.
A Sano double contributed to a New Britain run-scoring rally in the bottom of the seventh as the Rock Cats added another run off of reliever Hector Neris in make it a 7-3 game.
Corey Williams (1-0), who worked two scoreless innings, earned the win in relief in his Double-A debut.
The Fightin Phils continue their final series of the season on Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Left-hander Bobby Bramhall (1-3) gets the start for Reading opposite former R-Phil Trevor May (9-9). Pre-game coverage begins at 6:35 PM on Oldies 1340 WRAW.