Reading, PA - Akron's offense finally erupted in the third and deciding game at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday, and the defending champs used a season-high 12 runs and 14 hits to leave Reading with their first series win of the season. All nine batters came to the plate in the seventh, and eight of the nine chipped in with hits to send the Fightin Phils (5-7) into the off day two games under .500.
A lot of breaks went the RubberDucks way, and the tone was set two batters in when Tyler Krieger launched his first home run of the season off Fightins starter Tyler Viza. A walk and a hit batter preceded a strikeout of Mike Papi, and Dorssys Paulino flared a soft single into right field for a 2-0 first inning lead.
Despite throwing 37 pitches in the first, Viza settled in while getting some help from Aaron Brown in center field. Brown had all three putouts in the second, and later started a picture perfect 8-6 double play in the third after Krieger led off with a single before trying to tag to second on a deep drive from Yu Chang.
Mario Sanchez got the first call in Greg Legg's bullpen in the fifth, and promptly allowed singles to Krieger and Chang to start the inning. Bobby Bradley then strolled to the plate and continued his special night with a three-run home run to widen the lead to 5-0. In the top of the sixth, it was Bradley again with an RBI groundout that scored Greg Allen, making it 6-0 'Ducks.
Reading got on the board in the sixth against Michael Peoples, who was tough all night. Fittingly, it was Andrew Pullin who left the yard with a deep drive to right center that cleared both fences for his third homer of the year. With a little life at 6-1, Peoples got the final out of the inning and waited while his offense sent all nine batters to the plate in the top of the seventh.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Ivan Castillo brought in a run with a single to make it 7-1. A walk to Allen added another run, and Krieger kept them moving with a two-RBI double that got the RubberDucks to 10 runs for the first time this season. Sacrifice flies from Chang and Bradley pushed the lead to 12-1, with Bradley finishing the night with exactly five runs batted in for the third time in his career.
Needing someone to cover the end of the game, Yacksel Rios more than obliged with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one base hit for the rest of the evening. The final Fightin Phils run came with two outs in the seventh after Peoples (1-1) left with a couple of runners on base. A wild pitch from Mitch Brown scored Harold Martinez on a night where the offense totaled six hits. Pullin later added an infield single in the eighth, and Scott Kingery joined him with a 2-for-5 performance at the top of the lineup.
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.