(ALTOONA, PA) - In another defining win of the season, the Fightin Phils weren't fazed by an early 5-1 deficit against the Curve on Saturday night. David Parkinson dug deep and retired the minimum in his last four innings to finish with nine strikeouts over six, and the offense got a huge lift from the top of the lineup. Luke Williams , Mickey Moniak , and Alec Bohm combined on seven hits and seven runs batted in, and Addison Russ nailed down his 18th save in the ninth to tie the series at a game apiece. The win, coupled with the Sea Dogs loss at home to the RubberDucks, pushed the Fightin Phils lead in the division back to five games with 22 to play.
The game started promisingly, with Williams leading off with a single and getting to third on a stolen base and throwing error from catcher Arden Pabst . Moniak brought in his first run with a groundout to first, giving Reading a brief lead five pitches in against spot starter Cody Ponce .
Parkinson's night did not start as well, with the Curve sending seven to the plate in the bottom of the first. With the bases loaded and one out, Logan Hill struck a two-RBI single and Chris Sharpe made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly to center field. Pabst homered on the first pitch in the second, and after a one-out double by Darnell Sweeney , Jared Oliva singled for the second time to push the Curve lead to 5-1.
Reading's rally started in the third when Williams homered over the pitch clock in center field with the bases empty and two outs. Facing Nick Economos in the fifth, newcomer Nick Maton led off with a home run to right in his first Double-A start to cut the deficit to 5-3. In the sixth, Moniak doubled the other way to left and Bohm crushed a game-tying two-run homer to left for a 5-5 ballgame.
Parkinson (9-7) faced the minimum in his last four innings, ending his night with his ninth strikeout to finish one off his season-high which came in his season debut back on April 6 in Portland. After getting charged with a career-high five earned runs over the first two innings, the lefthander retired 11 of the last 13 Curve hitters he faced to keep the R-Phils in the game.
It was the bottom of the lineup which came up huge for the lead in the top of the seventh. With one out, number eight hitter Henri Lartigue worked a full count walk and pinch-hitter Danny Mayer roped a single through the left side on an 0-2 pitch to bring up Williams at the top. Two pitches in, he chased Economos (0-3) with a tiebreaking double down the left field line. And after Angel German entered in relief, Moniak greeted him with a two-RBI double to push the lead to 8-5.
Jonathan Hennigan worked around a few baserunners in a scoreless seventh, and Aaron Brown struck out the side despite going to 3-2 on all three batters he faced in the eighth. In the ninth, Addison Russ let up a run when Jerrick Suiter singled home Bligh Madris , who blooped a double down the left field line on the very first pitch from the Fightins closer. A walk to Mitchell Tolman put a pair of runners on and brought up the winning run, but Russ refocused and struck out Sweeney on a 3-2 check swing before Oliva grounded out to end it.
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