Akron, OH -- Reading starter Ethan Martin threw seven innings of shutout ball and the R-Phils scored one run in the seventh to beat the Akron Aeros, 1-0, on Saturday night at Canal Park.
Martin (4-0, 1.48), acquired by Philadelphia Phillies in a trade deadline deal for Shane Victorino, won his fourth straight start since being traded and his 11th game overall. In 24.1 innings with the R-Phils, he has allowed just four earned runs, posting a 1.48 ERA. Over seven innings, he allowed just four hits and two walks while striking out seven Akron hitters.
“He worked both sides of the plate -- fastball in and away,” said Akron Aeros manager Chris Tremie. “He threw some good changeups and showed a breaking ball. The kid pitched a good game.”
Reading relievers Tyler Knigge and Justin Friend retired the final six Akron hitters in order. Friend, currently posting a 0.27 ERA in 32 games, converted his 19th save in as many chances this year. He ranks second in the Eastern League in saves behind Akron's Preston Guilmet, who has 21.
Aeros starter Brett Brach (3-6, 4.36) matched Martin through six innings, keeping Reading hitters off balance. In the seventh inning, he gave up back-to-back doubles with two outs in the seventh to shortstop Miguel Abreu and designated hitter D’Arby Myers to give the Phils a 1-0 lead. Brach walked one and struck out four.
“He threw the ball well tonight,” said Tremie. “He mixed his pitches up and kept the ball down. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any run support for him.”
Akron righty Rob Bryson pitched the final two innings, working around two walks and a hit batter.
“He did a good job of not letting the inning get bigger on him,” said Tremie. “After the runners got on base, he focused in and threw some good pitches and got out of it.”
Matt Lawson had two of the Aeros’ four hits on the night, and was the only player with more than one hit. Lawson singled in the second and doubled in the fifth, to extend his hitting streak to five straight games. He is hitting .400 over his last 10 games.
“He’s been swinging the bat well,” said Tremie. “Good at-bats and a good setup -- he gets the barrelhead of the bat on the ball.”
Reading (67-59) snapped a three-game slide and trail by just one game in the Eastern League Eastern Division wild card race.
The Aeros will play the final games of the series against the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. on Sunday. Lefty Adam Morgan (2-0, 1.38) will start for the R-Phils against Akron right-hander Paolo Espino (7-2, 2.96).
Notes: Reading pitchers struck out nine Aeros on the night. … Announced attendance: 6,212.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.