ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Reading Fightin Phils took advantage of a pair of offensive rallies and held off a late rally by the Lehigh Valley IronPigs en route to a 6-4 win in the 2013 222 Showcase on Tuesday night at Coca-Cola Park. Reading and Lehigh Valley have split the first six meetings in the series pitting the Philadelphia Phillies top two minor league affiliates.
The IronPigs took the early lead as Darin Ruf drove in Tyson Gillies with a two-out RBI single that was just fair inside the third base bag. It turned out to be the only lead Lehigh Valley would enjoy the rest of the night.
Former Reading right-hander Ethan Martin kept the Fightins offense in check over the first three frames, not allowing a run while striking out five.
The Fightin Phils took advantage of control issues by Adam Morgan in the top of the fourth. The southpaw walked the first two batters he faced on nine pitches. Following a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Henson to advance the runners to second and third, Sebastian Valle doubled into the right-center field alley to put Reading in front 2-1. Valle would later score on a double steal attempt as Derrick Mitchell was thrown out at second on the play.
After adding a run in the top of the seventh, Reading plated what proved to be a pair of key insurance runs in the eighth. The Fightins rally came with two outs in the frame as Tyler Henson tripled into left-center field driving in Zach Collier to expand the lead to 5-1. Cameron Rupp, who came on to catch in place of Valle, followed with a RBI single through the left side of the infield extending the Reading advantage to 6-1.
Lehigh Valley made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kyle Simon gave up three straight hits to load the bases with no outs. The IronPigs then chipped away with a RBI groundout, sacrifice fly and RBI single from Steven Susdorf to pull within a pair of runs at 6-4.
J.C. Ramirez came on in place of Simon to face Michael Martinez who represented the tying run. The right-hander got Martinez to hit a come-backer to the mound to secure the victory.
Brody Colvin got the start for Reading and allowed just the one first-inning run while allowing five hits in four innings of work. The Louisiana-native struck out six batters and walked none.
The Fightin' Phils begin the 2013 Eastern League season on Thursday night in Manchester, N.H., against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Right-hander David Buchanan will make the Opening Day start for Reading. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.