Reading, PA - History has shown that the Fisher Cats have struggled in the first inning, and that was on display once again on Tuesday night at FirstEnergy Stadium. With two first inning runs and a solo home run from Kyle Martin in the first, it looked like Reading had all the pieces in place to improve to 5-1 on the homestand. But things changed in the fourth, and a Fisher Cats (56-78) barrage led to eight unanswered runs on the way to an 8-4 win with two home games left for the Fightin Phils (70-64).
Mitch Walding gave the Fightin Phils a 1-0 lead three batters into the first with an RBI double off New Hampshire's Sean Reid-Foley. Two batters later, Damek Tomscha roped a single back up the middle to make it 2-0 and get the Fightins off to a fast start.
Martin's 22nd home run came on a 3-2 pitch with one out in the third: a deep drive to right center that brought in his 68th run of the season. Leading 3-0, Tyler Viza was looking for his first win in his fourth start against the Fisher Cats, who started pounding away in the top of the fourth.
New Hampshire loaded the bases with no outs on a single and a pair of walks, quickly getting their first run on a fielder's choice groundout from Lourdes Gurriel. Tim Lopes then laid into a double that made it 3-2, but Viza escaped further trouble when Jonathan Davis lined out to first to retire the side with the bases loaded.
A wild pitch tied the score in the top of the fifth right before Gurriel smacked an RBI single that gave the Fisher Cats the lead for good at 4-3. Greg Legg then dipped into his bullpen with two outs in the inning, which slowed the 'Cats down until they scored three in the seventh. They'd add one more in the eighth as Tommy Bergjans made his return to Baseballtown, striking out four over two innings in his first relief appearance of the season.
In the ninth, the Fightin Phils brought home their final run on a fielder's choice groundout off the bat of Zach Coppola. Trailing 8-4, they wouldn't get any closer and Daniel Young secured the final out in 3 hours and 11 minutes.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.