Viza Deals and Gets Fightins Back on Track

Regain two game lead for second place in East

(Photo by Dawn Plummer)

By Reading Fightin Phils | June 17, 2017 11:04 PM ET

Binghamton, NY - The Fightin Phils were looking to start a new winning streak on Saturday night against the Rumble Ponies, who came back from 3-0 down in the sixth to steal game one. Needing a strong start from Tyler Viza , a win ensured them of a winning roadtrip against Mets 40-man member Marcos Molina, who was making his first Double-A start. After one turn through the order, they eventually figured the kid out, and got five extra-base hits to help Viza (4-4) go six innings for the third time in four starts for a 7-4 win.

Binghamton struck first, getting a one out walk from Luis Guillorme in the first inning. The next batter, Kevin Taylor, ripped a comebacker to the mound, and Viza misfired the throw for a two-base error that put runners at second and third. Tomas Nido made it 1-0 with a groundout to short, but the Rumble Ponies wouldn't be able to add to the lead.  

The 22-year-old Molina faced the minimum while striking out a pair in each of the first three innings. In the fourth, Zach Coppola reached on his second single, and Scott Kingery's first of three hits was a towering double to straightaway center. On the very next pitch, Andrew Pullin put the Fightin Phils ahead for the first time with a two-RBI double. Two batters later, Carlos Tocci flipped a single into right for his 23rd run batted in and a 3-1 lead.

Viza was one strike away from getting through the fourth, which was spoiled when Gustavo Nunez snuck a double down the left field line. One pitch later, number eight hitter David Thompson laid into his fourth home run to re-tie the game at three. This time, however, the tie wouldn't hold for very long as Reading regained the lead for good in the fifth.

Known for their defense, the Rumble Ponies committed a rare error when Thompson booted a ball at third base hit by Malquin Canelo . Viza drew a walk on four straight, and Coppola continued his productive night with a sacrifice bunt for the first out of the inning. Kingery punched his second double of the night into left, scoring two runs and giving the Fightins a 5-3 lead. He'd add a single in the seventh, and soon stole his 17th base to extend his lead within the organization.

Viza didn't allow another run over his final two innings despite putting the leadoff man on in the fifth and sixth. Alexis Rivero returned with a strong performance in a 1-2-3 seventh, and Chace Numata's hitting streak reached six games on a two-run homer in the eighth off Ponies reliever Kelly Secrest. Numata's two runs batted in give him five in his last four games, and the home run was his first since April 18.

Leading 7-3, Victor Arano came in for the last six outs in a non-save situation. The first two pitches he threw in the eighth were hit by Taylor for a double and Nido for a run scoring single back up the middle. A double play would help Arano get out of the inning, and he'd secure the last three outs in the ninth with the tying run at the plate.

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.

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