Short Bursts Get Fightins Third Straight Series Win
Four run ninth carries 7-3 win to wrap up weekend in Altoona
(ALTOONA, PA) - After the Sea Dogs finished their series against the RubberDucks with a 3-2 win earlier in the afternoon, the Fightin Phils needed a win to clinch their series against the Curve and maintain their five-game lead in the Eastern Division. On a night where Adonis Medina used his breaking ball extremely well to strike out eight Curve hitters for the second straight Sunday, the offense used two big innings for the win. In a 3-3 tie in the ninth, Reading sent all nine to the plate, with Josh Stephen and Henri Lartigue driving in three of the four runs for a 7-3 win and a 5-1 mark against the Curve to wrap up the season series.
For the second straight night, Luke Williams led off the game with a base hit, roping a double to left to extend his season-best hitting streak to 11 straight against Curve starter Pedro Vasquez . The Midseason All-Star got the next three hitters in order, and later worked around a one-out walk to Nick Maton in the top of the second.
Medina surrendered the game's first run in the third, loading the bases with no outs after back-to-back singles from Mitchell Tolman and Jared Oliva , plus a hit by pitch with Major League rehabber Francisco Cervelli at the plate. O'Neil Cruz made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to center, and Medina established his rhythm by going on a run in which he retired nine of the next 10 hitters without a hit.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth, Vasquez got Lartigue to fly out to center field and keep the Fightin Phils off the board. That didn't last long, with Williams working a walk in the fifth and Mickey Moniak drilling his tenth home run to right for a 2-1 lead. Alec Bohm doubled on the very next pitch, and with two outs, Stephen brought in his first run with a single to push the advantage to 3-1.
During his final inning in the sixth, Medina gave up a leadoff double to Logan Hill and a quick single to Bligh Madris which cut the lead to 3-2. After a one-out double by Brett Pope , pinch-hitter Chris Sharpe tied the score with an RBI groundout to tie the score.
Grant Dyer relieved Medina and got the final out in the sixth to strand a pair of runners before a perfect seventh. In the top of the inning, the Fightin Phils loaded the bases for a second time on a single by Maton and walks to Darick Hall and Danny Mayer . Again, Lartigue made the final out with a groundout to first on a payoff pitch which kept the game tied.
Facing Curve closer Matt Eckelman in the ninth, Bohm worked a crucial walk to open the inning and put the tiebreaking run at first. On an 0-2 pitch, Hall walloped a single into right center to place runners at the corners for the middle of the order. Stephen's double made it 4-3 and after Maton's second walk, Lartigue lined an 0-2 offering into right for two more runs and a 6-3 lead. With Eckelman (1-5) out of the game, Blake Cederlind got the last two outs but not before a fielding error from Pope at third base gave the Curve their third error and a 7-3 hole with three outs to go.
Addison Russ finished off the ninth inning in a non-save situation, giving Jeff Singer (6-0) the victory after he dodged a single and a walk with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. With 21 games remaining in the regular season, the Fightin Phils have a five-game lead over the Sea Dogs with their final scheduled off day coming on Monday before a three-game series starts in Erie against the SeaWolves on Tuesday night.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.