Portland, Maine- Cole Irvin threw a career-high eight innings and the Reading Fightin Phils (51-35) edged out a win over the Sea Dogs (40-44) 4-3 in front of 7,124 on Saturday night at Hadlock Field.
Irvin (3-0) allowed two runs on just three hits over his eight innings of work, he walked four and struck out seven. Irvin threw 109 pitches and 70 strikes.
Elih Villanueva (ND) had his best start as a Sea Dog, allowing just two runs on four hits over a season-high 6.1 innings. Villanueva didn't walk a batter and struck out a season-high seven.
Portland took an early lead on a solo homer by Chad De La Guerra - his second - off of Irvin in the first inning.
Reading tied the game in the second on an RBI single by Mitch Walding to score Jiandido Tromp, who had doubled off the wall.
The Sea Dogs regained the lead with two outs in the fifth on an RBI single by Deiner Lopez to score Mike Olt and make it 2-1 Portland.
Once again, Reading answered - this time in the seventh. After a one-out single by Tromp, Luis Ysla (1-5) entered and walked Walding and Chace Numata on eight pitches. With the bases loaded, Cord Sandberg then hit a grounder to Mike Olt at first and Olt's throw to second hit the runner Numata and went into left field and two runs scored to put Reading ahead 3-2.
The Fightins added another run in the top of the ninth off of Ysla. With the bases empty and two out, Numata doubled then Sandberg hit a seeing-eye single up the middle for an insurance run.
It turned out to be needed, because Jeremy Barfield homered on the first pitch he saw form Victor Arano (S, 5) to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Arano recovered to retire the next three Sea Dogs in order and struck out Cole Sturgeon to end the game.
The season series between Reading and Portland concludes tomorrow with a 1:00 PM start at Hadlock Field. LHP Henry Owens (0-1, 40.50) takes the mound for Porltand against RHP Tommy Bergjans (2-1, 6.75) of Reading. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at SeaDogs.com or by phone at 879-9500. Pregame coverage begins live on the WPEI US Cellular Sea Dogs Radio Network at 12:45 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.