Falter and Cumana Shut Out Squirrels

Cumana's grand slam backs up lefthander's seven innings

(Photo by George Youngs Jr)

By Reading Fightin Phils | July 7, 2019 12:14 AM

(Richmond, VA) - Trying to build off a solid start in his last appearance against the Sea Dogs, Bailey Falter was brilliant once again on Saturday night at The Diamond. The lefthander was dialed in from the get-go, working in tandem with Austin Bossart all night while barely breaking a sweat on a humid night on the boulevard. With the game scoreless in the fifth, the offense finally broke through against Brandon Beachy , getting a bases loaded walk from Darick Hall . On the very next pitch, Grenny Cumana pulled a grand slam deep to left for a 5-0 lead, which was more than enough as Fightins pitchers extended their scoreless streak to 21.1 innings in the series.

Beachy's night started with back-to-back bloop singles by Arquimedes Gamboa and Luke Williams. Hall made the first out by popping up to third base, and two pitches later, Cumana rolled into a double play around the horn to retire the side. The first of two hits allowed by Falter was a one-out single by Johneshwy Fargas in the bottom of the first, but Falter grabbed a grounder off the bat of Jalen Miller to start an inning-ending 1-6-3 double play on the next pitch.

Falter then walked Jacob Heyward to open the second, only to retire the next 13 Flying Squirrels in order before walking Bryce Johnson with one out in the sixth. At that point, he had the cushion he needed after the R-Phils busted through by batting all nine in the top of the fifth.

Bossart led off with a double to left-center on the first pitch of the inning, and in his return, second baseman Jose Antequera worked a walk after an eight-pitch exchange. Falter dropped down his first sacrifice bunt of the season, pushing the runners over for the top of the lineup. A Gamboa groundout didn't work, but Williams and Hall drew walks to score the game's first run. After Hall added his league-leading 55th run batted in, Cumana jumped on the first pitch he saw for the Fightins second grand slam of the season and a 5-0 lead.

Falter allowed just one more hit when Heyward singled with two outs in the seventh, ending his start with a groundout to finish his seven shutout innings. In the process, he lowered his ERA from 4.22 to 3.84 while getting over .500 at 6-5. With only one call to the bullpen needed, lefthander Aaron Brown shouldered the load and tossed two scoreless innings, finishing the Fightins second straight shutout with a strikeout of Miller.

America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2019 season are available online at Fightins.com, by phone at 610-370-BALL, and in-person at the Weidenhammer Ticket Office at FirstEnergy Stadium. Follow the Fightin Phils on Twitter at @ReadingFightins, Instagram at @fightins, 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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