Akron 6, Reading 2
After losing two games in Akron, the Reading Phillies find themselves on the brink of elimination in their best-of-five division series with the Aeros.
Akron scored three runs off R-Phils starter Yohan Flande in the bottom of the fourth to break a scoreless tie. Carlos Santana opened the inning with a solo home run, which seemed to shake Flande, who then issued a walk and gave up a double and another walk to load the bases with nobody out. After a groundball out scored one run, it looked like Flande might work out of the inning when he recorded a second out on a pop-out to catcher Tuffy Gosewisch. Jared Heard delivered a ground-rule double to plate one more run in the inning though as Akron moved to a 3-0 lead.
Flande was replaced by Scott Mathieson after giving up a leadoff single in the fifth. Mathieson gave up a base hit, but then recorded a double-play and a strikeout to end the inning. An inning later though, Mathieson was in trouble when he gave up back-to-back singles and both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt, putting runners at second and third with one out. Again, it was Jared Head doing the damage as he doubled to left to notch two runs and then scored himself on a double by Jose Constanza, stretching Akron's lead to 6-0.
Akron right-hander Jeanmar Gomez cruised through the first six innings, but gave up back-to-back singles to Neil Sellers and Domonic Brown to start the seventh. Not wanting to take any chances, Akron went to the bullpen to bring in Carlton Smith, who surrendered a sacrifice fly to Brian Stavisky to give Reading their first run of the night. A groundout and passed ball moved Brown to third, but Gosewisch grounded out to end the inning without any further damage. Reading added an eighth inning run on a double by Ozzie Chavez, who moved to third on a fly ball by Michael Taylor and then scored on a base-hit by Kevin Mahar, but Reading wouldn't do any further damage and went quietly in the ninth as Akron took their second straight game of the series, winning 6-2.
The series now shifts to Reading with Game Three on Friday night, although the weather forecast isn't very favorable. Mike Cisco, who was a combined 9-7 between Clearwater and Reading, will get the start for the R-Phils. If necessary, Game Four will be Saturday night, but Reading hasn't announced who would start that game.
Lakewood Comes Home With a 1-0 Series Lead
After a night off, the Lakewood BlueClaws return home for Game Two of their best-of-three series with Kannapolis. Trevor May (3-1, 2.56) takes on the Intimidators Stephen Sauer (6-5, 3.36) as the 'Claws look to clinch and head for the South Atlantic League Finals for the second time in four seasons. In the other playoff series, Greenville holds a 1-0 series lead over Asheville as that series shifts to Greenville Friday night.