Akron center fielder Daniel Johnson became the first RubberDuck with a two-homer game this season (the third of his career), but the Reading Fightin Phils scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, as shortstop Jose Gomez hit the walk-off RBI single to right field, for a 6-5 victory in the series opener at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading Friday night.
With Akron holding a 5-3 lead, right-hander Argenis Angulo began the bottom of the ninth inning by walking Reading center fielder Adam Haseley and first baseman Austin Listi. Designated hitter Cornelius Randolph doubled to right field, scoring Haseley and putting Listi at third base. Right-hander Dalbert Siri entered with a 5-4 lead, but the tying and winning runs in scoring position. Pinch hitter Darick Hall had a pinch-hit infield single, loading the bases. Siri walked second baseman Raul Rivas to tie the game, setting the stage for Gomez to hit his second RBI single of the game.
RubberDucks right-hander Eli Morgan retired the first 12 Fightin Phils batters in his Double-A debut. With a 3-0 lead, he walked Listi to begin the fifth inning, and Randolph singled for the first Reading hit. His errant pickoff throw scored the first Reading run, and Gomez's RBI single (his first hit in 17 at-bats this season) made it 3-2. Morgan left with a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning, and left-hander David Speer induced an inning-ending double play, begin a 2 2/3-inning scoreless outing through the eighth inning. Reading right-hander Thomas Eshelman allowed four runs in the first six innings. Left-hander Jeff Singer (2-0) went 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.
The RubberDucks took a second-inning lead on first baseman Wilson Garcia 's second-inning solo home run to center field - marking the second straight series against his former organization that he has homered in his first at bat. In the fifth inning, second baseman Jorma Rodriguez hit an RBI double, extending his hitting streak to a team season-high eight games. He scored on designated hitter Logan Ice 's RBI single. Johnson hammered solo home runs to right field in the sixth and eighth innings and three home runs the last two games, with a team-high six home runs this season.
Garcia and Johnson are tied for the team lead with 21 RBI…Friday's loss was Akron's first in 11 games when leading entering the ninth inning this season…Reading has won four of the first five games in the season series, with all coming in its last at bat, including three extra-inning wins at Canal Park…Time of game: 2:42…Attendance: 4,990.
On the Pond
The RubberDucks continue their series in Reading on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. EDT. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeartRadio channel, and the TuneIn Radio App, and available on MiLB.TV.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.