Perhaps there was some wizardry in the air in Lakewood. After all, it was Harry Potter Night at the BlueClaws.
Jan Hernandez slapped a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Lakewood Blue Claws a 2-1 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds in South Atlantic League action. The win snapped a four-game skid for Lakewood and a 23-inning scoreless streak that stretched back to Wednesday night. It was the first walk-off home run by a BlueClaws player since last August when Cord Sandberg won a game in the 18th inning with a home run.
The home run made a winner of Zach Morris (3-1), who threw a scoreless top of the ninth. Starter Harold Arauz had a good outing, giving Lakewood six innings, allowing just one unearned run and striking out seven. Reliever Jacob Waguespack threw two shutout innings for the BlueClaws in relief of Arauz.
Meanwhile, some of that wizardry may have drifted across state lines, as the IronPigs saw a fly ball magically pop out of the glove of right fielder Wynton Bernard, allowing Carlos Alonso to score all the way from first base to give Lehigh Valley a 4-3 win over Toledo. Alonso hustled around the basepaths on the fly ball hit by Taylor Featherston with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, sliding head-first across the plate with the winning run. Earlier in the game, Featherston hit his fifth home run of the season and Andrew Knapp added his sixth home run of the year; both were solo shots. Toledo had three home runs, all solo shots, off starter Jake Thompson, who threw eight innings, his longest outing since 2014.
Lehigh Valley's win, combined with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 5-1 loss at Indianapolis moved the IronPigs back into a first place tie with the RailRiders in the International League's North Division. Rochester, who lost to Durham 4-1, is sitting 1/2 game behind both teams.
Edubray Ramos, who threw a perfect top of the ninth for Lehigh Valley, got the win. Thompson allowed five hits and one walk, while striking out eight in his eight innings of work.
WP: Matt Wisler (2-3, 2.93), LP: Aaron Nola (3-3, 2.85), SV: none
HR: ATL - Freddie Freeman 2 (8), Nick Markakis (1); PHL - none
Maikel Franco made two errors, which led to three unearned runs.
WP: John Richy (1-1, 6.30), LP: Matt Wotherspoon (1-2, 5.63), SV: Miguel Nunez (3)
HR: TRE - D. Bichette (3); RDG: Dylan Cozens (11), Rhys Hoskins (7)
Dylan Cozens hit his league leading 11th home run for Reading.
Lehigh Valley - RHP Alec Asher placed on the DL (calf contusion).
Lehigh Valley - INF Ryan Jackson traded to the Angels for cash considerations.
Reading - SS J.P. Crawford reassigned to Lehigh Valley.
Reading - RHP Reinier Roibal officially added to the roster.
Lakewood - RHP Shane Watson reassigned to Clearwater.
Lakewood - RHP Drew Anderson activated from the DL.
Philadelphia (Adam Morgan 1-1, 6.41) hosts Atlanta (Williams Perez 1-1, 4.78)
Lehigh Valley (Mark Appel 3-2, 3.58) hosts Toledo (TBA)
Reading (Ben Lively 6-0, 1.53) hosts Trenton (Ronald Herrera 4-1, 2.11)
Clearwater (Tyler Viza 5-1, 1.77) hosts Palm Beach (Jack Flaherty 0-4, 5.97)
Lakewood (Franklyn Kilome 0-4, 7.30) hosts Delmarva (Reid Love 2-3, 4.00)