RubberDucks 6 Fightins 3 (10)
WP: Matt Whitehouse (1-0) LP: Miguel Nunez (0-1) Save: None
Akron's Francisco Mejia lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning to snap a 3-3 tie and lead the RubberDucks to an eventual 6-3 win over the Reading Fightin Phils in the opener of a three-game series Monday night at FirstEnergy Stadium.
With the score tied, 3-3, the RubberDucks (3-8) forged ahead in the 10th against Reading relievers Miguel Nunez (0-1) and Yacksel Rios. Nunez walked Ivan Castillo with one out and gave up a double to Greg Allen to put runners on second and third. Rios entered the game and hit Yhoxian Medina to load the bases. Mejia then lifted a shallow fly ball to center field, which was caught by Carlos Tocci. Castillo raced home from third as Tocci's throw sailed up the first base line, and Akron took the lead 4-3. Bobby Bradley followed with a two-run single to right to pad the lead to 6-3.
Lefty Matt Whitehouse (1-0) worked the final three innings for the RubberDucks to pick up his first Double-A win. After giving up the go-ahead run to the Fightins on a bloop-hit in the eighth, Whitehouse retired the final six batters he faced in the ninth and 10ths to close out the win. Julian Merryweather started for the Ducks and tossed seven sensational innings, allowing only two hits, one of which was a two-run homer to Reading's Matt Walding in the fourth. Merryweather walked one and fanned seven, and now has 15 K's in his last two starts.
Akron was two strikes away from losing 3-2, when Yu Chang clobbered an RBI triple off the wall in right field to drive in Medina, who had singled, with the tying run. Chang was 2-5 on the night, and also had a RBI single in the first inning. Dorssys Paulino slugged a solo homer to left in the fifth off starter Brandon Liebrandt to tie the game at 2-2. It was Paulino's second homer of the season. Medina had a pair of hits and scored three runs.
The RubberDucks snapped a five-game losing streak with the win…Mejia was 1-4…His single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to nine games to start the season…Time of game: 2:14…Tocci's pop-up to shallow right field dropped in for a hit in the bottom of eighth to give Reading (4-6) a brief, 3-2 lead…The Fightins used five pitchers in the game and recorded 12 strikeouts…It was the first extra-inning game for both teams…After the game, Akron manager Mark Budzinski announced that right-hander D.J. Brown will start Tuesday's game in place of scheduled start Rob Kaminsky…Time of Game: 2:50…Attendance: 2,077.
The RubberDucks and Fightins will play the middle game of the series at Reading on Tuesday night at 6:35. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM, the WARF iHeart channel, and the TuneIn Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.