Reading, PA - Due to Saturday night's rainout, it was fitting that Drew Anderson got the opportunity to close out the homestand after starting it last Monday night with arguably the best start of his career. Facing a dangerous Baysox lineup, the righthander set new career highs with 10 strikeouts across 7.0 innings in a 2-1 win. Nearly a week later, Anderson almost one-upped himself when he took the mound on Mother's Day at FirstEnergy Stadium. He didn't allow a hit until there was one out in the seventh, and got help later when Andrew Pullin 's third hit of the day brought home the winning run as the Fightin Phils won 2-1 to close out the homestand 4-2.
With a three-start winning streak coming into the day, Anderson had re-emerged as the staff ace upon Tom Eshelman's promotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley just six days ago. After striking out a pair in the first, he lost a breaking ball that plunked Joseph Monge with two outs in the second. Turns out that would be the Sea Dogs only baserunner for a good chunk of the afternoon.
The wind helped Scott Kingery get a hold of Kevin McAvoy's second pitch in the bottom of the first, and the second baseman's opposite field homer to right gave the Fightins a quick 1-0 lead. Two more singles from Pullin and Chace Numata gave Kyle Martin a chance to add to the lead, but a broken bat groundout ended the inning.
Reading's best chance came in the bottom of the sixth after Malquin Canelo led off with a hard single through the left side. After watching Carlos Tocci steal his first base in the third inning, Canelo was in motion but got thrown out trying to steal second in plenty of time by catcher Jordan Procyshen. Tocci immediately got on with a walk, and Pullin and Numata went back-to-back for the second time with singles to load them up. With the bullpen up and ready, McAvoy calmed his nerves and got a strikeout before Angelo Mora grounded out to second to retire the side. McAvoy went 7.0 innings for the second straight start, striking out six while allowing just the one run on seven Fightins hits.
With history on the line for the second consecutive start, Anderson opened the seventh with a strikeout of Josh Tobias, bringing his total to six. He soon got ahead of the always dangerous Rafael Devers, but the Red Sox number two prospect launched a 1-2 pitch over the 372-foot marker in left to tie the score at 1-1. Anderson ended his day with another strikeout and a popup, bringing the bullpens to the forefront after lowering his ERA even more from 5.53 to 4.67.
Facing Ty Buttrey in the eighth for the second time in the series, the Fightin Phils got to business when Canelo led off with another hard single into left. Another stolen base attempt from Canelo worked, and a wild pitch got him all the way down to third. Tocci drew his second walk, and after getting off-speed pitches the entire at-bat, Pullin hooked a fastball into right past the shallow infield to put the Fightin Phils back in front for good 2-1.
Jesen Therrien came out for his second inning of relief in the ninth after retiring the side in order in the eighth. A one out single from Danny Mars was just the second hit of the day for the Sea Dogs, but brought the go-ahead run to the plate. With Tobias at the plate, Mars was hosed trying to steal second by Numata, who's impressive homestand allowed him to match Kingery with a season long nine-game hitting streak. Therrien (1-1) ended it quickly with a strikeout, extending his scoreless innings streak to 14-and-a-third while adding his first win of the season.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2017 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins and like them on Facebook via www.facebook.com/fightins.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.