Aeros split twinbill at Reading
A wild pitch in the ninth inning Saturday night was the turning point as the Akron Aeros slipped by the Reading Phillies 6-4, in the second game of a doubleheader at First Energy Stadium.
The Aeros (42-23) gained a split in the twinbill after Reading won game one, 2-1.
In the nightcap, wildness by reliever Juan Morillo led to Reading's demise, as the righthander issued four walks in the top of the ninth. With the score tied at 4-4, Morillo (0-2) issued a leadoff walk to catcher Michel Hernandez, who was lifted for pinch runner Ben Copeland. Copeland promptly stole second, his team-leading ninth steal of the year.
After a pair of walks to Davis Stoneburner and Chun Chen loaded the bases with two outs, Morillo uncorked a high fastball that skipped off the mitt of catcher Steve Lerud, allowing Copeland to score the go-ahead run. Another walk, Morillo's fourth, to Nick Weglarz loaded the bases again. Morillo was lifted, and first baseman Tim Kennelly came in to pitch.
Kennelly proceded to walk Ryan Rohlinger to force in another run to make it 6-4, but he fanned Adam Abraham to end the inning. Eight batters came to the plate in the inning, and only one put the ball in play-a line-out to third by Thomas Neal.
Jose De La Torre worked a perfect ninth to earn his second save. He made a winner out of Preston Guilmet (2-1) who worked around a pair of hits in the eighth.
It was the second extra-inning game of the road trip for Akron. The Aeros are now 7-1 in extra inning games this year.
Weglarz smacked a long home run to centerfield in the second inning, his team-high eighth of the year. Neal added a solo shot in the fourth, part of a three-run rally that gave the Aeros a 4-2 lead.
The Phillies (37-28) tied it 4-4 in the sixth with a pair of runs off Aeros relievers Bryan Price and Bryce Stowell.
In game one, Reading's Brandon Tripp led off the bottom of the seventh with a game-winning, solo homer to left off Giovanni Soto (5-4), giving the R-Phils a 2-1 victory. It was Tripp's third home run of the year.
Righthander Matt Cisco (3-2) earned the win for Reading with two scoreless innings, and then played a country music concert at the stadium after the end of the second game.
Chen hit safely in both ends of the doubleheader, extending his hitting streak to a team-high 12 games.
The Aeros and Phillies will continue the series Sunday afternoon with a 1:35 game at First Energy Stadium. RHP Steven Wright (5-3, 1.54) will start for Akron on three days rest. RHP Julio Rodriguez (3-1, 2.84) will start for Reading. All Aeros games are broadcast on Fox Sports 1350 AM and online at www.akronaeros.com. For more information, please call the Aeros at 330-253-5151.