Aeros win two against Fighting Phils
READING- The Akron Aeros got their night started off with, what else, a rain delay.
After last night’s game was suspended after seven innings due to rain, the Aeros and Fighting Phils were set to make up the final two innings in at 5:35 ET. The start of that game was delayed until about 6:40 pm, but eventually they were able to complete the seemingly endless affair.
After going scoreless in the eighth inning, the Aeros got the run they needed in the top of the ninth and secured a victory.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Fighting Phils pitcher Tyler Knigge allowed a solo home run to Aeros catcher Roberto Perez, giving Akron a 4-3 lead.
Aeros reliever Bryan Price, who didn’t allow a hit in the eighth, struck out two in the ninth and secured the win for the Aeros.
With the prolonged win, Akron moved to a game above .500, at 18-17. The Fighting Phils fell to 13-20.
The next game started, almost simultaneously, but an about an hour after it’s original start time of 6:35.
That being said, the Aeros were clearly warmed up and ready to go.
Centerfielder Tyler Holt started off the second portion of the evening with a single up the middle, which was followed by a walk by second baseman Justin Toole. Designated hitter Chun Chen then came up and smacked an RBI single, scoring Holt and giving Akron a 1-0 lead.
After first baseman Jesus Aguilar struck out, left fielder Quincy Lattimore hit a three-run home run, scoring Chun and Toole, and gave Akron a 4-0 lead.
While Akron was comfortable, Reading responded in the bottom of the first.
Reading second baseman Albert Cartwright started it off with a leadoff double, giving the Fighting Phils a runner in scoring position right off the bat. Shortstop Edgar Duran then hit a bloop single to centerfield and moved Cartwright to third base. Left fielder Derek Mitchell struck out, but he was followed by first baseman Jim Murphy who singled, scoring Cartwright and cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Aeros starter Will Roberts got catcher Cameron Rupp to ground into a double play, ending the threat for the Fighting Phils.
Greg Smith of the Fighting Phils kept the Aeros at bay in the second, and the Reading offensive was able to add another run in the bottom of the inning.
Roberts got another double play after centerfielder Zach Collier started the inning off with a single, but Abreu made sure the Fighting Phils would not be shut out in the inning when he hit a solo shot to left field.
Rightfielder Tyson Gillies grounded out to third to end the inning, but the Fighting Phils cut the Aeros lead to 4-2.
Akron fought back in the top of the third, getting the run back that they gave up in the bottom of the second.
With two outs, shortstop Ronny Rodriguez hit an infield single, bringing up third baseman Kyle Bellows with a chance to prolong the inning. Bellows did just that, smacking an double to deep left-centerfield that scored Rodriguez and gave the Aeros a 5-2 lead.
While both teams had been battling back and forth, the Fighting Phils had a huge bottom of the 6th.
After Reynolds got shortstop Edgar Duran to ground out to start the inning, Derrick Mitchell smacked a solo home run and brought Reading back within two. Murphy then hit a double to the gap, giving the Fighting Phils a runner in scoring position. He was followed by Rupp who tied the game with a two-run home run to deep left field. With the score at 5-5, Reynolds stayed in the game and got the next two batters to end the inning.
The Reading bats didn’t skip a beat in the bottom of the seventh.
Abreu started the inning off with a single and advanced to second thanks to a throwing error from Bellows. Right fielder Tyson Gillies then grounded out, Abreu moving to third on a throwing error. Cartwright then followed suit by reaching on a throwing error by Bellows, and Abreu scored, giving Reading their first lead of the game, 6-5.
Roberts was pulled after the run scored, and reliever Cole Cook got two straight outs to get out of the inning.
The Aeros couldn’t get a run in the eighth, and Murphy hit a solo home run in the bottom of the inning to give the Fighting Phils insurance heading into the top of the ninth.
Akron couldn’t muster enough offense for two more runs and Fighting Phils closer Jay Johnson locked up the win and the save for Reading.
So the night ended with a win for each team, bringing both teams back to where they began this morning.
The Aeros are back at .500 and the Fighting Phils are at 14-20.
Akron is set to take on Reading in the final game of this four game series tomorrow afternoon at 1:35. Aeros starter Brett Brach will take on Fighting Phils starter Hector Neris.