READING, Pa. - Scott Kingery was all smiles after his second home run of the game carried over the wall in right center to give the Fightin Phils a 7-6 win in 10 innings over the Fisher Cats on Friday night. When asked about his last two home run game, he remembered a game in high school, which is probably correct because he had never done it in over 230 games as a pro. The second baseman wasn’t alone in the effort, and three homers in the fourth inning were a huge help in Reading’s sixth straight win before an energetic crowd of 7,961 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
With two lefthanders on the mound for game one, both managers loaded up on right-handed hitters to begin the weekend series. Pitching for the first time in a week, Reading’s Brandon Leibrandt let up two runs in the first on an RBI triple by Tim Lopes and a subsequent groundout off the bat of Ryan McBroom.
The Fightins had chances early against Shane Dawson, who was 0-2 in his first two starts against them. After stranding the bases loaded in the first, Kyle Martin and Angelo Mora hit one out singles in the second. Kingery’s second at-bat ended with a 6-4-3 double play, but Reading would have an answer in the third. Malquin Canelo singled for the second time in as many at-bats, and Carlos Tocci followed with his second straight walk. A deep flyout to right from Andrew Pullin allowed Canelo to tag to third, and Osmel Aguila got the Fightins on the board with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 2-1.
It looked like the Fightin Phils would break it open for good in the fourth, which started with a leadoff home run from Martin that sailed deep down the right field line to tie the score. Mora backed him up again with a double down the left field line, and Kingery’s first contribution was a go-ahead bomb to left center that gave Reading a 4-2 lead. Canelo’s third hit was a double off the top of the wall in right center, and Tocci got on for the third time with a single to put runners at the corners. Pullin hit into a double play to bring in a run and make it 5-2, and with the bases empty, Aguila ended Dawson’s night with a line drive over the left field wall for the third home run of the inning.
The Fisher Cats showed fight, wasting no time with a run in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit in half to 6-3. Leibrandt later came out for the sixth and surrendered a leadoff single to Richard Urena. A groundout from Tim Lopes brought up McBroom, who made it 6-4 with his second run batted in, effectively ending Leibrandt’s night. Yacksel Rios started strong with a strikeout of Harold Ramirez, but gave up back-to-back RBI base hits to Danny Jansen and Emilio Guerrero that tied the game at six.
After Rios, Miguel Nunez was huge with two-and-a-third inning of hitless relief, which carried the game beyond the ninth. The Fightins were shut down for awhile by New Hampshire’s bullpen, with Josh DeGraaf and Justin Shafer combining on over three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. Dusty Isaacs was the third man up, and escaped the ninth inning with runners at the corners after striking out Mora to send it to extras. Kingery’s game-winner to begin the tenth came on a 3-1 pitch, just clearing the right field wall for his team-leading 11th home run and the Fightins first win in their final at-bat.
Game recap courtesy of the Reading Fightin Phils.
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