(Reading, PA) - It was a rematch from April 16th between Reading's Ranger Suarez and Harrisburg's Wirkin Estevez in the middle game of three at FirstEnergy Stadium on Wednesday night. And while the Fightins had the clear advantage on paper, Estevez turned in his best start of the season and the Sens escaped with the series win by a 5-3 final before a crowd of 4,857.
As the Fightin Phils ace, Suarez was expected to carry the load after three relievers combined on the last seven innings in the Senators 8-3 win on Tuesday night. For the second straight game, they opened the scoring when they put the first two batters on in the top of the second. Shortstop Osvaldo Abreu brought in the first run with a base hit and Estevez followed with a single of his own for a 2-0 lead.
That score held through the middle innings with the Fightin Phils only real opportunity coming in the bottom of the second on scattered singles by Zach Green and Austin Bossart . Estevez (1-3) then struck out Drew Stankiewicz to punch out the side on a night where he'd finish with five strikeouts over six scoreless innings.
The scoring picked up in a busy seventh inning with both starters out of the ballgame. Making his fourth appearance of the month, the normally surehanded Edgar Garcia found some trouble in the top of the inning. With one out, Kelvin Gutierrez got on top of one and snuck his fifth home run of the season over the left field wall for a 3-0 lead. With two outs, catcher Taylor Gushue kept the inning going with a single, and Drew Ward smacked a two-run homer to right to widen the Senators lead to 5-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Fightin Phils went to work against lefthanded reliever Ismael Guillon . Zach Green led off with a walk after getting on his first two times with a single and a walk. Kyle Martin , playing right field for the first time in his career, soon roped a double into right on the first pitch he saw to get the crowd into it. Bossart was the next man up, and got a hold of a 2-2 pitch up in the zone to crank his fourth homer to make it a 5-3 ballgame. That would be the final, and the last two innings belonged to relievers Ranfi Casimiro and Roman Mendez , who both spun two scoreless innings to close things out.
America's Classic Ballpark is proud to be a part of Pennsylvania's Americana Region. Season tickets for the 2018 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.