The Reading Fightin Phils (3-4) treated the 8,510 fans that came out to opening night at FirstEnergy Stadium with a 6-3 victory over the Richmond Flying Squirrels. It was the largest Thursday Night Opening Night crowd in Reading franchise history, with the official attendance of 8,510 being eclipsed only one time, on Friday, April 12, 2013, when Reading drew an official attendance of 8,621.
Reading got on the board first in the bottom half of the second inning against Richmond’s starter Andrew Suarez. Kyle Martin led off the inning by beating the shift and singling into left field. After advancing to second on a ground out by Mitch Walding, Martin scored when Jiandido Tromp singled up the middle to give the Fightins the 1-0 lead.
The Fightins could not keep the lead long as Richmond got to Tyler Viza in the third. Andrew Suarez would lead off the bottom half of the third with a four pitch walk before Carlos Garcia reached on an error at third base by Walding. With runners on first and second, Brandon Bednar singled to load the based, and Chris Shaw singled to center to tie the game at one. Ryan Lollis capped off the inning by putting the Squirrels on top with a two run single to put Richmond up 3-1.
After going down in order in the third, Reading’s bats came to life in the fourth. Carlos Tocci led off by reaching on an error by second baseman Miguel Gomez to put the pressure on Suarez, who responded by getting a strikeout and a ground ball to first, before Tromp came through once again for Reading with an RBI single to left center. Walding worked a two-out walk to give the Fightins runners on first and second with two outs. Still trailing 3-2, Malquin Canelo laced a triple to the wall in left after Chris Shaw just missed making a diving catch. Tromp and Walding would both score and give the Fightins a 4-3 lead.
Viza would hold the lead in the fifth, in what would be his final inning of work, and capped off his stellar outing by striking out Hunter Cole.
Mario Sanchez pitched the sixth and seventh innings, retiring all six batters he faced and striking out two. Jesen Therrien added a pair of strikeouts in the top of the eighth to preserve the Reading lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Scott Kingery doubled off the left field wall and Martin gave the Fightins a little insurance with a two run home run off the pavilion in right field to give Reading a 6-3 cushion.
Miguel Nunez came on in the ninth to close things out for Reading, striking out two and working around a pair of walks to earn his first save of the year.
The Phillies were off on Thursday. They open a weekend series in Washington Friday night, with Aaron Nola (1-0, 4.50) on the mound.
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2, Lehigh Valley 1
WP: Chasen Shreve (1-0), LP: Pedro Beato, SV: none
HR: LV - Cam Perkins (1); SWB - none
Lehigh Valley collected just two hits in the game, the HR by Perkins and a base-hit by Jorge Alfaro.
Ricardo Pinto 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Winning run scored with two outs in the ninth inning.
Clearwater 1, Palm Beach 0 (Game One)
HR: PB - none; CLW - Damek Tomscha (2)
Tomscha had two hits in the game to lead the Threshers.
Taveras 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K; Leftwich 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Palm Beach 1, Clearwater 0 (Game Two)
WP: Ian McKinney (1-0), LP: Franklyn Kilome (0-1), SV: Juan Perez (1)
HR: PB - none; CLW - none
Grenny Cumana collected two of Clearwater's seven hits in the game.
Kilome 6 IP, 7 H 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K; Edgar Garcia 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K
Greensboro 2, Lakewood 0
WP: Dustin Beggs (1-1), LP: Sixto Sanchez (0-1), SV: Kyle Keller (3)
HR: GRE - none; LKW - none
Sanchez 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K; Harold Arauz 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Organizational Note: Pitchers went a combined 40 2/3 IP, 34 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 9 BB, 40 K (1.11 ERA)